As the summer rounds out, many of us have started to travel again for work and leisure, and we’re again experiencing the frustrating effects of jet lag. Traveling outside of our usual time zone can be disorienting, while the stress of travel takes a toll on our health, but a few preventative steps can help make the transition easier.
Dehydration exacerbates jet lag symptoms while dry cabin air dries us out even further. Combat jet lag by hydrating well before, during, and after your flight.
Get out into the sunshine
Sunshine is a primary regulator of circadian rhythms, so while it can be tempting to try and sleep off jet lag, getting out into the sun will actually help your system regulate more quickly.
Force yourself to adapt
It can be tempting to doze off as soon as you land in a new destination, but you should limit naps to 30 minutes and try to force yourself to adapt to the local time zone by going to sleep and waking around when you would at home.
Forgo caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating, so avoiding them in flight will help you stay hydrated and feel better once you land.
The bacteria in our gut can actually be affected by flights, so taking probiotics or eating probiotic-rich food, like kimchi and tempeh, in the two weeks leading up to your trip will help strengthen your immune system and alleviate jet lag.
Most of us associate jet lag with feeling tired, but it can also cause cramping due to poor circulation, dehydration, and a magnesium deficiency. Packing a magnesium-rich snack like almonds, seeds, or wheat germ will help stave off this negative side effect of flying.