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Only 7% of Travelers Can Really Beat Jet Lag, This Is What They Do

Only 7% of Travelers Can Really Beat Jet Lag, This Is What They Do

How many times have you planned an itinerary only to fall behind schedule by a few hours – or even a whole day? Getting on a red eye or delayed flight is never fun when business awaits you at your destination. You arrive in a foreign country swollen eyed or with eye bags, and try to make sense of what you have to do.

As exciting as flying halfway around the world is, it can also be stressful for all the unnecessary reasons. Whether you are finally embarking on the trip of your dreams or jet setting for business-related reasons, jetlag doesn’t have to be part of your travel package.

You didn’t fly all the way to Europe to unintentionally sleep half a day away. Just think of all the authentic pasta, gelato and pizza waiting to be devoured.

Physical Condition Isn’t Immune from Jet Lag Influence

Many believe that jet lag is merely a state of mind, and has nothing to do with our body’s physical condition – as if it’s a switch we can turn on and off. The battle with jet lag is more than just sleeping when it still bright out and staying awake when everyone isn’t. In fact, almost 93% of travelers experience it.

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A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)[1] kept track of Major League Baseball’s schedules, scores and player performance in a span of twenty years and over 40,000 games. Results showed that players who had to fly east had poorer performance than the home team, surrendered more runs, and lost frequently.

Troublesome Symptoms That Kill A Journey

Usual symptoms of jet lag[2] include insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and daytime sleepiness.

For more sensitive individuals, indigestion and diarrhoea may occur. Jet lag is said to get worse when one travels from west to east since “time is lost” by going back a few time zones.

Fighting Flying Blues

1. As much as possible, choose early flights.

The National Sleep Foundation [3] recommends selecting a flight that allows you to arrive around early evening and stay awake until 10 pm. You miss out on plenty if you choose to sleep while the rest of the city still bustles around.

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2. Prior to your flight, bask in the sunlight for awhile.

That extra dose of vitamin D will help you regulate your biological clock faster. Staying indoors for long periods of time may worsen jet lag. When booking your ticket, choose to sit next to the window. not only do you get first dibs on how much sunlight to let in through the window, you get extra padding and support for when you want to sleep. Choosing the best airplane seats [4] should be considered a talent.

3. Stay hydrated.

Also try to avoid coffee, alcoholic drinks, caffeine. We understand if you’d want to get some stimulants for your long days of sightseeing or meetings. Save those artificial energy boosters for when you land instead.

4. Upon boarding change the time on your watch to match your destination’s time zone.

If you don’t already use the World Clock feature on your mobile phones, you should. Synchronize your body’s internal clock to the external time.

5. Adjust to your environment.

Block out the loud gossiping. Instead of getting cranky, leave the crying kids be – it’s part of childhood. Consider the airplane buzz as white noise, eventually it’ll feel relaxing. Turbulence may come and go; think of it as a roller coaster ride instead. Plane rides aren’t meant to make you miserable.

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6. Change into more comfortable clothes during a long flight if you must.

Flaunt your onesies or your cute flannel pajamas and stop worrying about what people will think. Better to leave the plane fresh after a 10+ hour flight than look crumpled and disoriented upon arrival.

7. Put together your own travel or sleeping kit.

Add helpful accessories such as a neck pillow, earplugs (earphones work too), a blanket and eye mask. It may not be as comfortable as sleeping on your bed, but you should do what you can to feel at ease.

8. Bring that book you meant to read.

Who knows, you might finally be able to finish it in a sitting. This is a foolproof way of not giving in to unwanted sleepiness, especially if the book keeps you on your toes.

9. Strike up a conversation with your plane seatmate.

That’s if he or she isn’t already asleep. This will make time fly by faster (pun intended). You’ve made yourself a new friend even before the plane lands.

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10. Give your brain a rest too.

Stress can lead to sleeplessness. Even if you feel like sleeping, the mental toll on your body might not allow you to. We all have business goals to achieve,[5] but sometimes you just have to leave work at work.

11. Try doing seat exercises to keep the blood flowing.

Due to the limited space, we don’t get to move around well in the plane so chances of jet lag hitting you hard are greater. However, once you land, avoid heavy exercises before bedtime if you don’t want to delay sleep.

12. Consulting a sleep specialist may also help get the circadian rhythm – and your lifestyle – back to normal.

They may recommend taking sleep medications.[6] We all have varying levels of comfort and health. For those who travel really frequently, professional help might be best. Don’t risk leaving your symptoms untreated as it might develop into a more serious illness.

If all else fails, just remind yourself that you don’t want the frequent flier miles you worked so hard to collect go to waste.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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