How to beat jet lag without sleeping pills – 5 ways from an extreme traveler!

by Apr 27, 2017English, Travel

As a frequent traveler and digital nomad, jet lag is something that I should, in theory, be regularly suffering from. However as you’ll see the video below from Language Tsar on YouTube, this is not the case in reality.

So what is jet lag? And what can you do to either avoid it or limit its effects?

Jet lag or desynchronosis and flight fatigue is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of air travel across time zones. It is considered a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, which is a disruption of the internal body clock.

Besides fatigue and insomnia, a jet lag sufferer may experience a number of physical and emotional symptoms, including anxiety, constipation, diarrhoea, confusion, dehydration, headache, irritability, nausea, indigestion, difficulty concentrating, sweating, coordination problems, dizziness, daytime sleepiness, malaise (a general feeling of being unwell), and even memory loss.

So, why do we get jet lag?

Our bodies are naturally programmed to do a number of things throughout a 24-hour period such as eating and sleeping, and these circadian rhythms as they are known, get thrown wildly of sync when we travel long distances at high speed.

A major change in time zones can mean that our bodies get very confused indeed. This can lead to extreme fatigue, indigestion and bowel problems, loss of appetite, memory and concentration issues or a general feeling of being unwell.

Recovering from jet lag depends on the number of time zones crossed while traveling. In general, the body will adjust to the new time zone at the rate of one or two time zones per day.

For example, if you crossed six time zones, the body will typically adjust to this time change in three to five days. Jet lag is temporary, so the prognosis is excellent and most people will recover within a few days.

Some tips to prepare your body for a jet lag before you travel:

1. People with rigid schedules of eating and sleeping suffer the worst from jet lag so if you have a more flexible routine, you will have a significant advantage, i.e. digial nomads can have a big advantage with this.

2. Arrive for your flight fully rested, if possible.

3. Plan your flights so you arrive in daylight since you will feel more like staying awake and fitting in with your new schedule.

4. Stay away from alcohol! Tempting as it is to max out the options of the trolley service, the effects of alcohol at altitude can increase tiredness and also contribute to dehydration which make you feel more tired when you arrive at your destination.

5. Drink plenty of water on-board to keep yourself hydrated.

6. Leave the sleeping pills alone as they will not help with jet lag.

7. When you get on the plane, set your watch to the time of your destination to get yourself psychologically aligned. You can also do this for your phone and laptop (especially, if you’re like me and your wristwatch is purely a piece of jewellery today ).

8. Move around regularly and do exercises to keep the blood circulating which will make you feel better.

Have you already suffered from a jet-lag? If so, write me your thoughts or some tips to avoid it in the comments section below 😀

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