I love traveling. That is an understatement. I love long-haul flights despite the criticism I hear from frequent flyers. What I do not like about traveling across the Atlantic or on the other side of the globe is the time difference and the jet lag that comes with it.
The first time I traveled long-haul (more than 7 hours flight is considered long-haul or approximately 7,500 kms flown in distance and carried out by wide-bodied commercial aircraft) was the DXB-LAX-DXB. It was a non-stop flight around 14 hours long. The jet lag did not kick in because my excitement got the better of me. I was more excited than tired and sleepy. I felt it few days later and this is where the tips to beat the jet lag come in.
- 1. Find an airline which leaves your exit point early in the morning so your body is in tune with the normal timing.
- 2. Avoid taking energy drink or stimulants like coffee and tea before your departure.
- 3. A night before the flight, sleep earlier than usual. This will help your body's circadian rhythm to adjust and resynchronize.
- 4. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated because being dehydrated can pose a lot of health problems.
- 5. Fill you iPod or mp player with nice, soothing sounds to relax your mind and encourage sleep.
- 6. If you reach your destination in the morning (traveling East to West will make you lose time than the other way around), don't nap right away. Go out and about. Enjoy the scenery, walk, go on tours but avoid drinking alcohol. Have a protein-carbohydrates meal as soon as you can because filling your body with protein can up your energy level. This should be done when you do arrive in the morning or at least before lunch.
- 7. If you reach your destination in the evening, follow that place's time. Sleep if it's sleeping time. Draw the curtains shut, have a warm soak and switch the lights off. Times like this, I always bring my lavender pillow mist. It soothes my mind and makes me fall asleep.
- 8. Avoid filling your stomach before and during the flight. Take a small portioned meal.
- 9. Read books during the flight so you won't be tempted to fall asleep right away. Try as much as possible to follow the time pattern of your destination.
Happy traveling! Don't let the jet lag bug bite :)