I love traveling overseas, but the longer the flight, the worse I tend to feel. Though I like to visit to other countries, flying isn't one of my favorite things. When I have to be in a plane for 8 hours to visit another country, the addition of jetlag upon arrival tends to make me a bit cranky. Here are 7 tips to overcome jetlag that I've collected. Some of them I have used and found them to work quite nicely.
Sleeping on the airplane will help you to be at least somewhat rested when you land at your destination. I find it easier to fly at night and arrive to another country early in the morning. I can usually fall asleep for at least 2 or 3 hours. Even this short nap helps me to not be quite as tired as if I'd stayed awake the entire flight.
I might take a warm or a cool shower when I get to the hotel at my destination. It will depend on what time of day I arrived. If it is early in the morning, then I'll take a cool shower to wake myself up. When I arrive in the evening, I take a warm shower to relax and calm down from the flight. Being woken up by a shower helps me to have an extra boost of energy to see some sights before going to bed. Relaxing in the evening will help me get a good night's sleep and start the day fresh.
I try to stay awake until it's bedtime in the new country I'm in, even if I didn't get a wink of sleep on the plane. I might have to drink a few cups of coffee to pull this off, but it is possible. If I give in to sleep right away and it's 6am, then I end up throwing off my schedule for more than just one day. If I choose to go to sleep when I arrive early in the afternoon and continue sleeping until the following morning, then I end up missing out on a lot of the sight seeing I could have been doing.
A little bit of yoga, meditation, or relaxation exercises are perfect for calming you down and making you feel less tense when you arrive. I can only sit in those tiny airplane seats for a short amount of time. I even have to stretch during the flight so that I don't feel all cramped up in the seats. Standing back by the bathroom area where there is more room is helpful in getting the blood circulating through your body again.
I always drink as much water as I can when flying. The pressurized air seems to suck every bit of water out of my body. No matter how much water I drink, I don't run to the bathroom nearly as much as I would expect. If I can drink enough water that I don't feel thirsty the entire flight, them I'm doing well to keep hydrated. Drinking a glass of juice every so often is even better than nothing at all, in case you can't stand to drink water.
Having a schedule to follow upon arrival will make the time change less dramatic. Jetlag seems to be worse when you have time to sit and think just how crummy you really feel. Make a schedule with times planned out for seeing some sights, eating meals, and doing some shopping. I'll try to stick to my schedule for the first couple of days, and then I can relax a bit once I feel like I'm back on track.
Being well rested before ever leaving home will keep you from feeling the harshness that comes with lack of rest. Starting off with little sleep, then not getting any rest on the plane causes jetlag to become more severe. It's best to go over all reservations, get the luggage packed, and then spend the day before you leave in a relaxing state. I try to have everything ready to go a couple of days before I leave. This clears my mind as well and then I don't leave for my trip feeling like I forgot something.
I hope these 7 tips to overcome jetlag are useful when you travel in the future. Taking a short trip through one or two time zones doesn't often result in major jetlag. Some people feel a bit groggy upon arrival after a short flight, but these short distances aren't quite as hard on the system as long trips tend to be. What tips do you have to share for people who are traveling overseas and may experience jetlag? Do you have any certain tricks that seem to work every time?
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