7 Tips To Avoid Jet Lag
I travel constantly for YogaFit. I have just returned from 4 days in Australia, traveling from NYC, through Los Angles and returning via LA then Las Vegas on a red-eye home, Phew!
This year I have been to three countries and at least six cities in the U.S., three Mind Body Fitness Conferences, YogaFit corporate offices in Toronto and Las Vegas, Two trade shows and the list goes on….
I can proudly say I have not had jet lag since returning from India in 2008. This takes work and presence. Jet lag can be debilitating, causing physical and mental fatigue. When I am tired I cannot focus and I am not productive. The worst is that I eat too many carbs and sugar when I am tired.
For me, health is my number one priority so it’s vital for me to stay in an optimal state of health while on the road.
Here are my tips ( most scientifically proven ) ways to stave off jet lag, so you can stay happy, healthy, and productive while traveling.
1. Stay Present in the Moment: I set my watch to the time of the place I am arriving, and I stay present in the moment. Many people say “ it’s 4 am at home “
So what – It’s 8 pm in India, you are where you are- in the present moment. Be here now. It’s a mindset.
2. Use your travel time to practice meditating. What a great opportunity to practice your practice. Focus on your breath or a mantra. Enjoy these short-term benefits to your nervous system:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Less perspiration
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- More feelings of well-being
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
I use guided meditations and chanting when I travel. I feel like I am feeding my soul on the plane.
3. Stay hydrated
Flying is incredibly dehydrating. Dehydration makes one tired. Drink plenty of water hours before you travel and during and after your flight. I bring a water bottle and fill it up after I go through security. Don’t drink soda, coffee or alcohol, ( I drink decaf when I travel ) because alcohol and caffeine will cause further dehydration, and disrupt sleep. Eating a diet of just fruits and vegetables will also keep you hydrated and feeling light when you travel.
4. Use your travel time to sleep _
Most of us are sleep deprived. I fall asleep the minute the plane takes off, I catch up on my sleep on the plane. I also don’t nap when I arrive, no matter how tired I am, I also resist the urge to sleep late in the morning or go to bed late. This will help you get off your regular circadian rhythm and get in sync with the local rhythm. Waking up early also helps you fall asleep on local time that night. If you do this, you should wake up the second day fully acclimated.
5. Avoid the uppers and downers – Don't drink alcohol & Don’t drink more than one cup of coffee
You may feel like you're dragging in the middle of the day; however, caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means that afternoon cup could keep you from falling asleep. Researchers suggest avoiding coffee after 2:00 p.m., or at least six hours before bedtime.
A drink may feel relaxing but research indicates that alcohol can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. If you start drinking before bed you may wake up at 4 am and not be able to get back to sleep.
6. Use melatonin and other supplements:
I take melatonin at night as well as Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep, Magnesium, Tryptophan and 5 HTP. Please speak to your physician for recommendations.
7. Tune out the noise & device distractions
Crying babies, chatty passengers, airplane engines can be a real distraction. As I mentioned, I like to listen to guided meditations and chanting music while I fly, they lull me to sleep. At night the stimulus of computers, iPhones, and lights disrupt your sleep pattern. Avoid booting up your laptop before you sleep and use an eye mask and earbuds on your flight and at your destination.
Travelling is good for the body, mind, and spirit. I hope these tips help you arrive at your destination feeling good so you can truly enjoy being in your body and being in the present moment. For more tips, reach out to me via the message section of this website.
Stay Healthy and Energized.
With love and light,
PS I love this article https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/fitness/8-reasons-traveling-good-health/