The best ways to get over jetlag

February 08, 2019

Every traveller knows the feeling of landing in a new city after a long flight. The adrenaline kicks in the moment you arrive, everything is new and you just want to see and do it all! But then jetlag kicks in, and before you know it, tiredness overcomes your excitement. Despite being in a cool new place, you’d like nothing more than to take a big, long nap. Don’t let jetlag ruin your vacation. From personal experience, here are my top tips for getting over jetlag.

1. Get ready in advance

Prepare your body for the change in time zones a few days before taking your flight. This includes gradually adjusting when you eat, sleep and wake up, therefore, giving your body a more gentle adjustment to a new time zone, rather than shocking it upon arrival. Ahead of your departure, you can even set your watch to the new time zone—just don’t miss your flight!

2. Avoid overnight flights

It’s never easy to get a restful sleep on an overnight flight. They’re called “red eye” flights because many people get red eyes caused by fatigue and late-night travel. It’s better to fly during the day so that it’s less disruptive to your routine. Depending on the distance you’re travelling, it might be inevitable to avoid an overnight flight, which brings me to my next point…

Getting over jetlag

3. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep on the plane

If you can’t avoid an overnight flight, set yourself up for a good night’s rest on the plane. Wear loose fitting layers so you can adapt to a comfortable temperature, bring a travel pillow to rest your head, wear an eye-mask to block out light and turn off your screens. Screen time, whether it’s from your cell lphone, laptop or an airplane TV screen, prevents your body from resting by suppressing the signals in your brain that help induce sleep.

4. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol

As tempting as it is to knock back a few free drinks on the flight, avoid booze. Alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep, causes dehydration and may leave you feeling groggy and irritable when you land. Booze will only amplify the effects of jetlag so it’s best to stick with water. There will be plenty of other opportunities to prost, kampai or salud when you arrive.

Getting over jetlag

5. Plan for a relaxing first day

As tempting as it is to pack your schedule and plan your most exciting activities for your first day, just take it easy. Spend your first day relaxing, exploring and adjusting to a new city while you’re still feeling the symptoms of jetlag. You’ll enjoy your travel experiences more when you do them when you’re feeling more awake and alert.

6. Take melatonin

Feeling wide awake when it comes to bedtime in your new city? Take a sleep-aid supplement like melatonin. If you prefer more natural remedies, settle down with a cup of chamomile tea or a warm cup of milk to wind down before bed.

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