Travelling to faraway places is always exciting. Jet lag, however, is not. It’s the downfall of travelling, making you disoriented and basically feel and look like a zombie (not to mention a waste of precious time)! It’s not as bad when you’re headed to a new destination and the excitement keeps you going – but heading home is another story. Not only will you have to get back to the daily grind, but you’ll need to look fresh and inspired while you’re at it! We can’t help you get out of bed, but here are 5 great tips to cheat your circadian rhythm like a seasoned nomad.
#1 Sleep In Or Party On
Get a head start and ease your body into your destination’s time zone. Which means you’ve got an excuse to sleep in or party into the wee hours of the morning (like you’re on holiday) even before you leave the house. If anybody asks why you’re still in bed at 1PM, tell them it’s completely legit (depending on where in the world you’ll be traveling). Since the sun rises from the east, when you travel east you’ll lose time and if you’re headed west, you’ll gain time. So even before your flight from L.A. to Hong Kong, staying up an extra few hours helps to adjust your body clock with its new environment.
#2 Get Physical
You might not feel like heading out for a run as soon as you get off a long flight but this might change your mind: physical activity helps revitalise numb muscles after being idle for so long, so not only will it have a dramatic effect on how you feel the next few days (much more energetic), it’s the best way to check out your new environment. It doesn’t have to be running – go for a swim or head to the gym. You could even keep it in the bedroom with your significant other – the best way to start off a holiday, we say!
#3 Be A Heavy Drinker
We mean water! Even though a glass of wine or two can help you fall asleep on your flight, keeping your body hydrated during the flight is important to combat the dreaded sluggishness you get after a long journey. The humidity drops significantly when you’re up in the air, which means your body needs more H20 to function – so tell the cabin crew to keep ‘em coming. Save the bubbly for later – H20 is the way to go when you’re flying!
#4 Act Shady
If you’ve got a day flight where it’s nighttime at your destination (the worst – we feel you!), your sunglasses will come in handy and help you look cool. Be like a rockstar and put on your shades (even though you’re technically indoors) – its all about lighting. According to research, human clocks are fine tuned by natural and man-made time cues so putting on your sunnies during when the sun is shining will help your body relax into sleep mode.
#5 Pig Out
We wouldn’t normally condone unhealthy eating habits, but if there’s a time to cheat on your diet, it’s when you’re traveling (or about to). With so many new dishes and restaurants to try, it would be a shame not to! If you need to go to sleep earlier than usual, eating complex carbs (i.e. brown rice, wholegrain cereals and starchy vegetables) helps produce serotonin and can have a calming effect. If you’re trying to stay awake, a meal full of proteins will help – so go ahead and have that steak but hold the potatoes au gratin.
What do you do to fight off the dreaded jet lag, nomads?