7 Tips to Ease Jet Lag after an International Flight

You’ve probably seen plenty of sitcoms and movies where you hear people complain about a jetlag. However, for those not familiar with the term or new with long-distance international flight, we have some news for you! Jet lag is a very common condition that can ruin your trip, so make sure you read on to know what you can do to reduce its impact.

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What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a condition that can happen when you travel to a different time zone. Your body has an internal clock or circadian rhythm. It helps you feel awake during the day and tired at night. When you travel across time zones, this clock can get confused because it doesn't match the new time zone you're in.

Jet Lag

This confusion can cause a variety of symptoms, like feeling really tired during the day or having trouble sleeping at night. You might also feel moody, have headaches, or have problems with your digestion.

Jet lag can affect people who travel a lot, like pilots or business travellers, because it can happen often without giving them time to recover. However, it is also common if you’re travelling to another country across two or three time zones over a long period.

How Long Does it take to Recover from Jet Lag?

Most people recover from jet lag within a few days to a week by following healthy sleep and lifestyle habits. The recovery time for jet lag depends on several factors, including the number of time zones you have crossed, the direction of travel, age, health, and individual adaptability. 

Usually, it takes about one day to adjust for every time zone crossed but recovery time can vary, and some people may recover faster or slower. Factors such as exposure to sunlight, hydration, and adjusting sleep schedules can help speed up recovery time. 

However, if you’re taking caffeine or alcohol then it can further disrupt your sleep patterns and prolong recovery. Frequent travellers or those with underlying health conditions may take longer to rebound from jet lag. 

What are Common Jet Lag Symptoms?

  • Fatigue: Your body's natural sleep-wake cycle can become disrupted when traveling across multiple time zones, leading to feelings of exhaustion.
  • Disorientation: Jet lag can cause disorientation, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. This can be especially problematic for business travelers who need to be alert and focused during meetings or presentations.
  • Insomnia: Some people experience difficulty sleeping during the night and may wake up feeling unrested or groggy.
  • Digestive problems: It can also lead to digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, or nausea. This is because the body's natural rhythms that regulate digestion are disrupted.
  • Mood changes: It can also cause mood changes such as irritability, anxiety, or depression. These symptoms may be exacerbated if the person is already dealing with stress or anxiety related to travel.
  • Physical symptoms: Some people may even experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or muscle aches due to jet lag.

7 Useful Tips to Reduce Jetlag

Useful Tips to Reduce Jetlag

Jet lag can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience, but there are strategies that can help minimize its effects:

  • Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

    Try to gradually adjust your sleep schedule before your trip so that you're going to bed and waking up at times that are closer to the time zone of your destination. This can help your body adjust more quickly and reduce the severity of jet lag symptoms. 

    For example, if you're traveling from India to London, try going to bed an hour earlier each night for a few days before your trip.

  • Stay Hydrated

    Dehydration can make jet lag symptoms worse, so it's important to drink plenty of water. Do it before and after your flight. It's also a good idea to not consume any alcohol or caffeine as they can dehydrate you.

  • Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

    Both alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep and worsen jet lag symptoms. Try to avoid them for at least a few days after your flight. Instead, try to drink water, herbal tea, or decaf coffee to stay hydrated and avoid stimulating your body before bedtime.

  • Get Some Sunlight

    Exposure to natural light can help regulate your body's internal clock and reduce jet lag symptoms. Try to spend some time outside during the day, especially in the morning. It will help reset your circadian rhythm. If it's not possible to go outside, you can also use a light therapy lamp to simulate natural light.

  • Take Naps

    We know it’s hard to contain excitement of exploring a brand new place, but you should try taking naps to recover from the jetlag. If you're feeling tired during the day, taking short naps can help you feel more rested. 

    However, try to avoid napping for too long or too late in the day, as this can make it harder to sleep at night. A good rule of thumb is to take a nap for no longer than 20-30 minutes.

  • Get Some Exercise

    Regular exercise can help improve your sleep quality and reduce jet lag symptoms. Try to get some exercise each day. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as it can make it harder to fall asleep. Something light like yoga or stretching can also help reduce tension and promote relaxation.

  • Be Patient

    Jet lag can take a few days to go away completely, so be patient with yourself. Give your body time to adjust to the new time zone, and try to avoid overloading your schedule during the first few days after your flight. Taking it easy and allowing yourself time to adjust can help you recover from jet lag more quickly.

Takeaway

Jetlags aren’t as bad as pop culture makes them seem. With a little care and extra precautions, you can easily have a comfortable journey abroad without suffering a bad jet lag. Just make sure you plan your activities around your sleep schedule. Take advantage of your hotel amenities such as spa treatments or pool facilities to relax and unwind. Finally, make sure you have a reliable travel insurance to back you up in case of any trip related troubles abroad. That would surely help to relax better!

Common FAQs about Jet Lag

  • Q: How long does jet lag last?

    Ans: While jet lag recovery time can vary, most people recover from jet lag within a few days to a week by following healthy sleep and lifestyle habits.
  • Q: What are some common jet lag remedies?

    Ans: Jet lag remedies include adjusting your sleep schedule, staying hydrated, getting sunlight, taking melatonin supplements, light therapy, exercise, and medication. Consult with your doctor before trying new remedies and be patient, allowing your body to adjust to the new time zone.
  • Q: I’m travelling to Thailand from India, will I get a jetlag?

    Ans: As the trip isn’t that long, it is still possible that you may experience jet lag when traveling from India to Thailand due to the time difference of 1.5 hours.
  • Q: How bad can a jetlag get?

    Ans: Jet lag can range from mild to severe, and its effects can vary depending on the individual and the length and direction of travel. Severe jet lag can significantly impact daily activities and take several days to fully recover from.
  • Q: Does jet lag happen to everyone?

    Ans: Jet lag can happen to anyone who travels across time zones, but not everyone experiences it to the same extent. Factors such as age, individual adaptability, and travel direction can affect the severity of jet lag symptoms. Some people may not experience jet lag at all, while others may have more severe symptoms.

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