No matter how much of an intrepid traveler you are, there’s always a nagging concern about traveling across different time zones – battling a jet lag is no easy feat, and certainly not one of the feelings you’d want to welcome – especially if you’re all set to indulge yourself at that picturesque vacay you’ve been dreaming (and saving up for, BIG TIME) about. Fortunately, unlike what it seemed like ages ago, jet lag is now perceived as a REAL (perhaps, first world) problem. While there isn’t a magic concoction of sorts to tackle the issue and zap that over exhausted feeling post a hectic air journey in a jiffy; a few remedies can really go a long way in treating that nauseous long travel-induced syndrome.
First things first: No matter how much of a cliche it may sound like, it’s the little things that matter: As a rule of thumb, always travel equipped. It pays to be a planner. So, put some thought to brace the dreaded lag. Make sure it’s not just the apparel but also a couple of essential accouterments to pack before flying. Even if you’re blessed with the sleeping patterns of a baby, it’s extremely important to carry handy essentials – Blindfolds, sturdy ear plugs, neck rests, puffy blow-up pillows and sock-like footwear are some of the incredibly useful options to consider.
Also, the reason behind acute feelings of jet lag is perhaps of a sedentary or little movement in the course of a long journey. While it may seem humanly impossible to think of exercising or slipping in for a strenuous workout, it’s of absolute necessity that you must, at least, give your muscles some task. Easy ankle-foot exercises are actually a lot do-able than you think it is. Take every opportunity to get up from your seat, and walk for a bit. Stopovers are when you must not just laze around and rather, opt for a brisk walk or just get up and move about, especially during the layovers. Conditions like swollen foot and muscle pull are often the result of sitting in one position with little movement.
Now coming to the big question: How much sleep is enough?: In all honesty, the right time to sleep entirely depends on the time of departure of your flight. If you have boarded a midnight or an early morning flight, the biggest mistake to do is to not sleep beforehand and rather sleep as soon as you enter the aircraft. This is a natural process, and staying awake all night only makes the body want to rest.
But here’s the catch: as per the time zones of the place you’re flying to, it will be daytime. So you need to avoid sleeping as soon as you enter. So no matter how late it may seem, get your body accustomed to the change in the time zones by indulging in other relaxation activities. Even bingeing on light and non greasy snacks are recommended to while away your time.
Dietary basics: Your choice of food plays a vital role in determining how comfortable you are doing your journey. While it may indeed seem tempting to guzzle down a mug of beer or sip on some fine wine or cocktail and then a little more; remember to steer clear of alcoholic drinks— this is a point to note, to always keep you in good stead— every time you travel, turn away from intoxicating drinks. On the contrary to the popular belief, alcoholic beverages can make you tired, sluggish and extremely groggy on waking up . Stick to light, easily digestible vegetarian meals.
It’s also a lot better to not give in to experimentation: studies show trying out different or heavy cuisines during the course of a flight travel often leads to a lot of uneasiness and tummy issues. And justifiably so. The only thing worser than a jet lag could be a bloated feeling accompanied with it, right?
To caffeine or not: While it’s often suggested to stay away from a caffeine overdose, ardent travelers vouch for its benefits. Coffee shots or strong coffee in particular is often seen as a remedy.
For instance, a warm cup of cuppa churned to this intensity is said to help: Mix a spoon of coffee in a 60ml shot glass with hot water. While this may seem like a quick fix, you must be doubly careful about not indulging in it in excess; lest you may suffer from dehydration. In fact, while coffee is an effective solution, ensure you keep your body well-hydrated by sipping onto water to create that balance. Adequate hydration aids in better sleep.
Apparel : While it is no news that one must only wear loose-fitted comfortable clothing, what’s important to note is the choice of footwear. Albeit it is quite possible that you might want to wear those snazzy and seemingly comfortably sneakers, slippers, flip flops and open sandals have proven to be better bets while travelling.
The idea is, everything you wear must facilitate one thing: circulation. So hoodies, jogger pants, loose fitted cotton kaftan tops and open toed chappals are some of the stellar options to consider while flying.
Time to go anti-savvy: While watching a sit-com or catching up on your favourite shows may seem like a great idea to whittle away time, we beg to differ. As opposed to offering relaxation, laptops, I pads, cell phones and basically just about any device ruins the chances of a more peaceful journey. In fact, it is best suggested to steer clear of all the devices at least an hour before napping. Interestingly, the very fact that the world is divided into 24 time zones ensures you’re bound to experience the wrath of a jet lag sometime in your life. However, it’s also important to note that a lot of seasoned travelers realize how important it is to adjust your body to a particular routine. For instance, if you are planning ahead and your trip isn’t something that has cropped up out of the blue, remember to plan out a schedule that is in tandem with the time zones you will be functioning at.
And last but not the least, one of the easiest ways to get rid of a jet lag is to let the body just be. No matter how important it is to complete that presentation, or even if you feel you have rested enough, it is absolutely important to give yourself a short break post landing. A break of at least four to five hours before you get back to your normal schedule.