Flying overseas? Deal with jet lag with these expert tips

Travel Lifestyle

By Guest Contributor.

Are you traveling abroad for the first time? Is the very thought of jet lag getting on your nerves? You have come to the right place.

International travel or flying across three or more time zones may seem exhilarating. However, it comes with its share of troubles. These include – being confined in a particular space for a long time, not being able to move freely, and the infamous jet lag, among others, are most encountered foes. As you can guess from the title of this blog, we are here to discuss jet lag and how you can get over it during your international flight. So, without further ado, let’s get into the topic right away!

So, what is jet lag? Is it for real?

It is a circadian rhythm sleep-wake condition. It is likely to happen when your circadian rhythm (internal or biological clock) goes out of sync with your regular day and night cycle. In simple words, jet lag is a short-term sleep disorder that affects you when you fly across several time zones (three or more). And, yes, jet lag is a real thing that interferes with your ability to focus, mood, productivity, and mental performance. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of jet lag:

  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Lack of focus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

However, fortunately, you can manage and get over your signs and symptoms by doing the following things. Take a look!

Pro-Tip 1
The idea to manage jet lag is to align the 24-hour internal rhythm of your body with the day (sunrise) and night (sunset) timing in your destination country. 

Things to practice before your fly abroad

You know where you are traveling and which time zone your destination falls under. Right? So, start prepping your body and mind a couple of days before you jet off. Get started with adjusting your natural body clock with your destination’s time zone. 

Pro-Tip 2
If you are flying to the west, make sure to sleep one to two hours later than you usually hit the bed. And if your journey takes you to the east, try to sleep one to two hours earlier than you generally go to sleep. 

Schedule your itinerary in a way that you arrive at your desired destination at least 2 to 3 days prior to any crucial days (if any). It will buy your body some time to acclimate to the new time zone.

One of the prominent issues you are likely to face due to jet lag is stomach aches and similar gastrointestinal problems. So, how can you cope with it? Do not stuff your tummy before your trip. Try eating smaller meals. If you have already been there (into jet lag) and know how taxing it is to your body, get in touch with your doctor before flying. Your doctor may prescribe you some medications or sleep aids.

Things you need to do after your reach your destination

Source- Pixabay

Sync your sleep timing accordingly

Adjust your sleep timing to your new schedule. Yes, it is very important to do it even if you are on the flight and it is a night at your destination. What you should do is – try to doze off while you are on the flight. Another thing – make sure to refrain from sleeping or even taking a nap if you reach your destination during the daytime to ensure a good sleep later on.

Drink plenty of water

In most cases of long-distance travel, what we do is avoid drinking water to avoid going to the washroom. Isn’t it? It leads to dehydration. Always remember! When you are well hydrated, you can manage the symptoms of jet lag properly and reduce the level of fatigue. So, carry your water and continue drinking enough to stay hydrated.

Get some sunlight

Source- Pixabay

Your exposure to sunlight happens to change when you travel across different time zones. It occurs due to an interruption in your regular internal rhythm. Try getting outside and soak yourself in sunlight. It will help reduce the level of melatonin (a hormone that regulates your natural sleep-wake cycle) and allow you to stay awake.

Have caffeinated beverages

Although drinking caffeinated beverages are least likely to cure the symptoms of jet lag, it may allow you to stay focused and stay awake during the daytime. According to a study, around 300 mg of caffeine (slow-release) helped enhance alertness in travelers flying eastbound. However, most caffeinated items, such as tea, coffee, soda, and also, chocolate, are high in sugar. So, be careful with your portion. You may talk to your doctor regarding the same.

Do not sit idle, do some stretches 

Source- Pexels

Sitting idle on your plane for a long time can lead to muscle stiffness and an increased risk of developing blood clots. Therefore, make sure to do some stretching on the plane itself. Get up from your seat and move to ensure your muscles are not stiff.

Have your travel medical insurance handy

Source- Pexels

Although you may be able to relate an insurance plan with managing jet lag in the first go, what if you fall seriously ill due to the latter condition in a foreign country? In such an unfortunate scenario, only a travel medical insurance plan or visitors’ health insurance can come to your rescue. A suitable travel health insurance plan will cover your medical bills if you are injured or become sick in an overseas destination. It is critical because, in foreign countries like the United States of America, the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing. And, without a travel medical insurance plan, you are likely to end up on the doors of bankruptcy. 

If you are wondering where you should purchase the best visitor’s health insurance policy, relax. You will find many reliable insurance broking firms, such as VisitorsGuru, in the market. You can visit their website, compare different policies and choose the one you find the best option for your travel needs.

guest writer- the strong traveller