How to survive jet lag

When you’ve just hopped off a plane, whether your flight was just to Florida or all the way to Auckland, NZ, you’re bound to feel a little out of sorts. The recycled air, cramped seats, and salty peanuts can make for an uncomfortable re-entry when you step out of the airport. Here are some things you can do to help make your flight a little bit more comfortable.clocks

  1. Drink enough water! Obviously, you don’t want to be elbowing your neighbor in the face each time you get up for a bathroom break, but keep sipping at your water bottle to stay hydrated. This can help alleviate any headaches or achiness in your joints as well. Pro tip: go through security with an empty bottle and fill it up at a water fountain near your gate.
  2. On longer flights, do a lap around the plane every so often. This will give you a chance to get your blood flowing and stretch your muscles out, which can help prevent blood clots that can happen on long flights when you’re sitting still for a long period of time. When you get off the plane, do some lunges to stretch out your hip flexors, which can get short and tight due to lots of sitting.
  3. Pack healthy but light snacks. When you’re traveling, all of your natural rhythms are thrown off. Regulating your blood sugar with an apple and a handful of almonds will make you feel a lot better than the McDonald’s chicken nuggets you might otherwise get at the airport (especially in the case of turbulence!) Keep up the healthy eating when you arrive as well, as high salt and fatty foods can leave you feeling sluggish and uncomfortable while you’re trying to adjust to your new location.
  4. If you’re crossing time zones, try melatonin before you doze off (a natural supplement that can help you get to sleep and stay asleep). You can find melatonin at drug stores and health shops, as it has recently grown in popularity. The quicker you can regulate your body clock to the local time, the better you’ll feel. You could also use essential oils such as lavender, grapefruit, or peppermint oil (all found at health stores) to help you sleep or perk you up in the morning.
  5. Wait it out. Any way you slice it, you’re traveling, which naturally stresses your body. If you take care of yourself and try to keep your typical routines as much as possible when you arrive, you should be feeling back to your normal self in a few days.

While there is no magical cure-all for travel discomfort, these basic tips can make your next trip a lot more comfortable.  Bon voyage! (Some tips adapted from this article).

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