If you’ve travelled long distances, you’ve most likely been subject to the feelings of jet lag. Whether you’re arriving in destination or landing at home, crossing time zones puts our bodies through a whole host of stressors. This makes us feel wide awake when we should be sleeping, or exhausted when we need to be awake.

So why is it that some people seem to struggle less with jet lag than others? By following a few guidelines, you can minimize the symptoms and arrive feeling a little better.

Quit the Caffeine

Grabbing a coffee at the airport or with the beverage service on your flight is tempting, but when you’re heading off on a long trip, it’s best to give up the caffeine. Instead, bring a couple of tea bags of your favourite herbal tea to settle yourself in so you can grab some sleep along the way.

Say ‘No’ to Alcohol

You may be accustomed to a glass of wine or a beer on your flights, but combined with the dry air on the airplane, the alcohol can increase dehydration and make it harder for you to beat jet lag. You might think it is relaxing, but you’d be better to forgo the alcohol.

Do Your In-Flight Exercises

Keep your circulation in check by frequently getting up and walking up and down the aisles, or finding a place where you can stretch. We’ve also recently posted some great in-flight exercises if you’re looking for additional tips for your long-haul flight. If you’re prone to swollen feet and legs on a plane, in-flight exercises are beneficial and paired with compression socks, and you’ll make all the difference!

Sleep

Before your flight, make sure you get a good night of sleep. Try to get a good 8-hour sleep in before you set off on your travels.

Try to align your sleep with your destination. If you are arriving during the daytime, make sure to get some sleep on the flight. Prepare yourself so you can make yourself comfortable, whether that be a pillow, blanket, mask, earplugs/earphones. Once you arrive, power through the day and go to bed at a reasonable local hour to avoid odd sleep patterns.

On your return home, if you’re arriving at night, try not to sleep too much on the flight, so that you fall into your regular sleeping hours on your return. It still may take a couple of days, but the sooner you return to your daily schedule, the better.

Stay Hydrated

While on your flights, and in destination, keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of water, before and during your flight will help combat the effects of a long flight, and make you feel a whole lot better when you arrive.

Jet lag is a nuisance, but it’s often a necessary part of our jobs. By following the steps above, you’ll help to lessen the impact of jet lag and arrive at your destination ready for the busy schedule you have ahead.