With nearly all good things also come tolerated inconveniences. With vehicle ownership, there's also the cost of maintenance and insurance premiums. With a paycheck comes tax withholdings. And with long-distance travel — no matter whether it's for business or pleasure — there often comes jetlag.
Yes, jetlag is that tolerated inconvenience that all travellers must endure when their journeys take them into different time zones. The good news is that jetlag is both common and temporary. The bad news is that depending on how many time zones you cross, it could take you up to five days to fully recover from its effects. And the effects of jetlag aren't exactly fun, as the biorhythm-interrupting condition is often characterized by feelings of drowsiness, irritability, lethargy, fatigue and even possibly disorientation. The good news is that there are some things that you can do — both proactively and reactively — to minimize the effects of jetlag. We'll take a look at both how to prevent and how to recover from jetlag in this post:
5 Tips on How to Recover Quickly from Jetlag
Generally speaking, the more time zones you cross on your travels, the longer you can expect jetlag symptoms to last and the more severe you can expect them to be. A trip from your Eastern Standard Time Zone home to a Pacific Standard Time destination, and its three-hour time difference, may not do much to you — but a 12-hour time change can really take its toll on you, both going there and coming back. As we said, there are some things that you can do so that jetlag doesn't become too much of a drag. Here's a look:
- Stop at the midway point: If you're travelling a long distance, there's a good chance there's a layover somewhere in your flight schedule. And while many fliers seem to bemoan layovers, in situations of long-distance travel, you can use such stops to your advantage — especially if you're able to stay the night. Simply staying the night at or near the halfway point of your journey can offer a nice respite and help prevent jetlag from being overly debilitating.
- Get comfortable with the right travel accessories: Sleeping isn't always easy on airplanes, largely because it can be difficult to truly get comfortable when you're in a confined space travelling 30,000 feet above sea level. This is unfortunate, as sleeping on the plane can do wonders in terms of preventing the severity of jetlag. It's why we strongly advise you to travel with comfortable accessories, like the right travel pillow. We suggest selecting a travel pillow with cooling, dual-layer memory foam to better support you and provide you with a high level of comfort so you're able to get the shut-eye that you need while in transit.
- Time your travels: Nobody knows your body quite as you do. Noting this, make sure you're timing your travels to your advantage. For instance, if you have a morning flight back home that will constitute a 12-hour time difference, consider staying up late the night before. This way, you can time things so that you sleep on the plane on your return flight and land feeling refreshed and more adjusted to your home time zone. Nobody knows your body quite as you do — get in touch with it and plan accordingly to minimize the severity of any jetlag.
- Hydrate: Airplanes tend to be dry environments, which means that staying hydrated is crucial. Staying properly hydrated is also crucial for helping you adjust to a new time zone. Noting this, we suggest stocking up on bottled water at the gate before your flight and asking the flight attendant for more water when it’s time for beverage service. We know it can be tempting to whet your whistle with a beer or glass of wine to help you settle into a long flight, but contrary to what many people believe, these only temporarily relax you and can actually work to dehydrate — rather than hydrate — you in the long term.
- Pick your foods wisely: Your diet can do a lot for your sleeping patterns. For instance, if you’re travelling from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time, you’re going to want to stay awake on your flight to better adjust when you arrive. Protein-rich foods like fish, lean meats or eggs are ideal in this case. If you’re travelling west to east, however, it’ll likely do you good to sleep on the plane. To do this, you’ll want to load up on carbohydrate-rich foods, like rice, pasta and potatoes.
As you can see, there are several things you can do to both prevent and recover from jetlag after your travels. A big part of it is making sure you’re comfortable and relaxed. The right travel pillow can help do that for you. And while you can make sure you have the right cooling mattress in your home bedroom, the same luxury isn’t exactly feasible on an airplane. But you can make sure you have the right travel pillow. For more information, contact Muse Sleep today.