Home Horizon Beating Jet Lag: 20 Things You Should Be Doing

Beating Jet Lag: 20 Things You Should Be Doing

by LaurettaCWright
Beating jet lag

If you've ever flown long-haul, you'll know how tiring it can be. Beating jet lag is something that most of us have struggled with, but you'll be pleased to hear that there are things you can do to minimise its effect.

The main symptoms of jet lag include fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems, appetite changes and concentration and memory problems. I remember it taking me about a week to fully get over my jet lag when travelling to Australia.

And a few years ago, when VIP and I returned from a trip to New York, we had to drive to a lay-by to sleep in the car, as we were having work done on the house while we were away and it was too noisy.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure (yet!), but there are steps you can take before, during and after a flight to help minimise its effects.

I’ve rounded up 20 of the best tips to combat a disrupted internal body clock!

  1. Force yourself to stay awake until bedtime when you get home
  2. Sleep as much as possible on the flight
  3. Walk around on the plane when you’re awake
  4. Avoid alcohol in-flight
  5. Drink more water than usual on the plane, and following the flight
  6. Make sure to stay in general good physical fitness before travel
  7. Avoid caffeine while flying
  8. Do exercises (also avoids getting DVT)
  9. Keep your watch set to your home/normal time when on holiday
  10. Avoid alcohol when you get home
  11. Take extra vitamins/supplements before, during or after the flight
  12. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables on the plane & aim for a light meal
  13. Avoid caffeine when you get home
  14. Eat ginger before, during or after the flight
  15. Exercise more following the flight
  16. If you find it difficult to sleep, meditate
  17. Force yourself back to work early after the flight
  18. Eat goji berries before, during or after the flight
  19. Eat cherries before, during or after the flight (a natural source of melatonin)
  20. Arrange parties/social occasions to force yourself to stay active after the flight

There are a number of travel products you can buy that will help with some of the above (and just help you feel refreshed when travelling).

Here are my travel go-to items that I've used and liked. 

Before you travel it helps if you can gradually try to change your sleep routine by going to bed and getting up an hour or so earlier or later than usual, in line with the time of your destination.

During the flight, it’s important that you drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic/non-caffeinated drinks.

Also, by skipping the in-flight meal (or keeping it really light), it will cause your body clock to temporarily reset and help you adjust to the new time zone much quicker.

And when you arrive, try to make sure you get lots of daylight exposure, ideally in the morning, as natural light will help your body clock adjust quicker.

Finally, the best way to get synched with new time zones is to push through the tiredness and stay up until a normal bedtime hour when you arrive in your destination. This is a common tip, but with good reason. It's one of the most effective ways of beating jet lag.

What are your go-to products or systems for beating jet lag? 

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Beating Jet Lag

18 comments

Lynda Graham 27th January 2019 - 4:59 pm

Great reading here.
Have so enjoyed it …and have a couple of tips to try. x

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LaurettaCWright 28th January 2019 - 8:07 am

That’s great to hear Lynda – thanks!

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Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... 29th October 2018 - 9:20 pm

I have never been on a flight longer than a couple of hours but the Duchess of Sussex compared pregnancy to jetlag so maybe I have a clue! Great tips, I have enough trouble when the clocks change by just an hour!

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LaurettaCWright 31st October 2018 - 5:48 pm

Yes I know what you mean about adjusting to time – it’s a tough one isn’t it? And the winter is always the worst.

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Laura Dove 28th October 2018 - 9:49 pm

I’ve never flown long haul so never suffered jet lag but it does sound awful! I think trying to stay awake is a great tip!

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LaurettaCWright 29th October 2018 - 8:28 am

Thanks Laura – it totally throws you if you don’t know how to deal with it.

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Stephanie 27th October 2018 - 2:45 pm

No one warned me about jet lag when I went away as a teen, I thought I was so ill and I wondered what was going on!!

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LaurettaCWright 27th October 2018 - 9:43 pm

Oh no! That sounds like you had a bit of a shock back then! At least you know how to handle it now. 🙂

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fashionandstylepolice 26th October 2018 - 9:28 am

Fab tips here. I like to sleep on the plane when I travel but it can be uncomfortable sometimes.

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LaurettaCWright 26th October 2018 - 3:48 pm

That’s a good idea – I wish I could sleep on the plane, but I really struggle.

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Lucy Dorrington 25th October 2018 - 9:12 pm

I travelled abroad for the first time this year and I hated the jet lag! I shall be sure to try these tips if I go again!

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LaurettaCWright 26th October 2018 - 3:49 pm

Thanks Lucy – jet lag can really take its toll can’t it? Some of these tips won’t stop you getting jet lag, but they should help minimise its effects.

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Rachel 25th October 2018 - 7:56 pm

Such good tips to beat jet lag and avoid it! Will be so useful for anyone travelling! Makes me wanna try some of them out!

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LaurettaCWright 26th October 2018 - 3:52 pm

Thanks Rachel. I never leave home on a long-haul trip without my creature comforts – whether or not they help me sleep/relax – who knows? But all I know is that I feel better for having them with me.

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Sonia Cave 25th October 2018 - 5:27 pm

All these are great tips. I love a bit of clinique too, the only thing that really tackles my skin. Last time I did long haul I did everything right, and the first night slept at a normal time for around 7-8 hours. I thought I was sorted until the second night and my pattern went out the door for about 3 more nights!!

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LaurettaCWright 26th October 2018 - 3:50 pm

Thanks for reading Sonia – it’s a strange one jet lag isn’t it? You think you’ve escaped it and it appears out of nowhere! Glad you like the tips though! x

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Zena's Suitcase 25th October 2018 - 11:45 am

Jet lag is rubbish and makes me feel so disorientated. I think setting your watch to the time zone you are going to is really helpful. Also eating your meals in that time zone can help the body get in the swing of things
Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Top 10 Things to do in New York with TeensMy Profile

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LaurettaCWright 26th October 2018 - 3:58 pm

Great tip about the meals Zena – and definitely agree. Everything that makes your body clock tune into local time will help. x

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