I initially titled this post ‘How to Avoid Jet Lag.’ But truth be told, there is no real cure for jet lag. If you’re flying around different time zones then you’re going to feel a little off. That said, there are ways to minimize jet lag and trick your mind and body into feeling like your fabulous self!
Optimum Flight Time – Price is usually the driving factor when choosing my flights, but if it is a long flight that crosses time zones, I definitely pay attention to the departure and arrival times. I usually prefer to book flights that leave in the afternoon or evening so it is easier to sleep on the plane. Even just a few hours of sleep is better than missing an entire night of sleep!
Bed Time – A few days before the trip I’ll try to go to bed a little earlier or a little later depending on whether I’m going east or west coast. This helps with my sleep schedule as it creates less of a time change.
Mental Clock – If I’m wearing a watch I’ll change it to the destination time when I’m boarding. Even if I’m not, I change my mental clock to the new time. When you’re traveling it’s so tempting to talk about what time it is at home, or how many hours you’ve been up, but don’t do it! As soon as you can get on the new time the better.
Sleeping Aids – I’ve mentioned before that I have the hardest time sleeping when I’m not at home and sleeping on a plane is no different! So if the flight is over 6 hours I’ll take a sleeping pill (I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking a sleeping pill on a flight if it’s your first time). When I wake up I’m extremely groggy, but coffee or a shot of espresso knocks the drowsiness right out of me. Others swear by melatonin or similar aids, but you should definitely consult your doctor if you’re going that route. You may also want to pack an eye mask, neck pillow, earplugs, or noise cancelling headphones to help you sleep better.
I love the Trtl neck pillow! It provides great neck support, folds flat in your bag, and best of all is machine washable!
Drink Lots of Water – Since I’m usually trying to sleep during long flights I don’t get a lot of water in me. To make up for it, I try to drink a lot before I board and when we’re landing. If you’re awake I’ve heard that you should have 8 oz every hour on a flight, but if you’re trying for that I’d make sure to get an aisle seat!:)
Skin Care – Sitting on an airplane will dry out your skin. Period. I’ve found that wearing no makeup, limiting alcoholic drinks to one (or none), and applying moisturizer to my face mid-flight keeps my skin feeling its best.
This jet lag mask, while a little pricey, is the perfect solution to hydrate your skin while onboard (no rinse required)!
When I first started working as a flight attendant I was flying to Asia one week and Europe the next and my internal clock was way off! Eventually I came up with my perfect arrival routine to combat the tiredness. I prefer to go straight to the hotel to check-in, take a shower, and change into fresh clothes. I don’t even let myself sit down on the bed as it can be so tempting to curl up and go to sleep. Instead I head out to grab a coffee and walk around the city.
If I’m extremely tired after walking around for a few hours, I’ll let myself have an hour or two nap before dinner (but that can be risky because sometimes you feel a little worse after). For dinner I seek out a lively place (quiet locations make me want to fall asleep at the table!) and try to stay up as late as I can to help get on the local time as quickly as possible.