I recently went on vacation in Bali, Indonesia and suffered from horrible jet lag symptoms when I returned. I took me a full eight days to recover. I had so much trouble adjusting to Pacific Standard time, I couldn’t sleep, was really tired during the day, had joint pain and had a lot of trouble concentrating. Since returning, I have done a lot of research on jet lag symptoms and remedies and wanted to write this post so that other people would not have to suffer like I did.
Jet lag is a condition that occurs when you cross multiple time zones rapidly. It completely throws off your internal clock and circadium rhythm. The more time zones you cross, the worse it can be and the longer it can take to recover. It is estimated that it can take one to two days to recover for every time zone you have crossed, but the tips below will help you to cut your recovery time down.
Jet Lag Symptoms:
- Trouble adjusting to your normal routine.
- Sleep problems. You can have trouble falling asleep or waking up and having trouble going back to sleep.
- Fatigue during the day.
- Lack of mental clarity and feeling spaced out.
- Trouble concentrating and focusing.
- Digestive problems.
- Menstrual disruptions.
There is a lot that you can do to prevent these jet lag symptoms. Below I have compiled a list.
Tips to Prevent and Overcome Jet Lag Symptoms:
1. Change your clock to the destination time as soon as you get on the plane. This will help you to start adjusting to the new time zone.
2. Sleep. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you travel and sleep on the plane if you can.
3. Stay Hydrated. Make sure that you drink plenty of water on plane. Long flights can cause dehydration and dehydration can make jet lag so much worse.
4. Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol is very dehydrating and can make your symptoms worse. Avoid drinking alcohol on the plane and a couple of days before you travel.
4. Do Stretching. This isn’t always easy to do in a cramped space, but there is usually extra space at the back of the plane and near the restrooms. It is also good to walk around at least every two hours.
6. Get Plenty of Sunlight. Jet lag disrupts your circadium rhythm. Getting exposure to light during the day can help you recover from jet lag symptoms and adjust so much quicker. If it isn’t possible for you to get sunlight at your destination (maybe you have returned home to Michigan in the middle of winter), use a light therapy device.
5. Take an epsom salt and baking soda bath. Airplanes give off a lot of electro magnetic frequencies (EMFs) which can make symptoms worse. Taking a bath with 1 cup of epsom salts and 1 cup of baking soda as soon as you reach your destination and return home can help to clear this out. You should pack these in your suit case so you have them when you arrive.
6. Eat healthy food. Eating healthy meals when you are traveling and when you reach your destination will help you to recover more quickly from jet lag symptoms. Airline food is at about the same level as hospital food and should be avoided. It is best if you can to pack a meal from home and bring some healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, goat cheese, turkey jerky, etc. Eating healthy foods when you arrive such as proteins, vegetables, fruits, and vegetable juices will help to nourish your body and help you recover more quickly from jet lag symptoms. Avoid alcohol, sugar and junk food as much as you can.
7. Plan a Light Schedule. If possible, plan a light schedule when you return home for the first few days, and try not to overdo it. Your body needs time to rest and adjust to your current time zone. Doing too much can make jet lag symptoms worse.
8. Take Vitamin C and D. The air quality on airplanes is very poor and many people get sick. Taking vitamin C and D supplements on the plane can help avoid this. Some people also wear face masks.