If you’ve ever taken a long flight, you’ve probably dealt with the uncomfortable side effects of jet lag. Jet lag is an unfortunate and often inevitable side effect of these long flights, but there are plenty of techniques that can be used to help speed recovery! By being proactive before, during, and after a long flight, you can greatly minimize the discomfort caused by jet lag.
1. Adjust Your Eating Schedule
It may sound strange, but one of the best ways to prepare your body for a time change is to vary your eating schedule for a few days beforehand. The last few days before a long flight, alternate between “feast” days and “fast” days, which means you eat slightly larger or slightly smaller portions of food at each meal. The day of the flight should be a “fast” day. This eating schedule will help to prepare your body for the confused schedule of a long flight and a time change.
2. Stay Hydrated
While you’re on the plane, drink plenty of water! Your body needs extra water to cope with the discomfort and unfamiliar experience of riding in an airplane; in addition, most airplanes are very dry. Make sure to carry your own water so you can easily take a sip or two whenever you need it.
3. Get Onto the New Time ASAP
As soon as you arrive at the airport, set your watch to the new time zone and do everything you can to get on that schedule as quickly as possible. For trans-Atlantic flights, that will likely mean trying to sleep when you get to your seat on the plane, but it also might mean keeping yourself awake or eating at a different time. Once you arrive in the new time zone, don’t let yourself nap during the day – which helps ensure you will be ready to sleep in the evening.
4. Float Upon Arrival
Floatation therapy is quickly becoming a popular technique for minimizing the effects of jet lag because it allows you to gain extra rest in a condensed amount of time. Although you usually lose many hours of sleep on the plane, an hour in a float tank can help make up for that loss of sleep; an hour of floating is roughly equivalent to 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Floating will be most effective if you can float as early in the day as possible so that you are still ready for bed at night.
Visit your nearest float center to find out more about the many health benefits of floatation therapy.