Although I love traveling, I do not like feeling jet lagged several weeks later, especially when I need to settle back into routine and reality kicks in. Luckily, there are a few natural ways to help ease jet lag, which have personally assisted me upon returning from overseas or domestic flights.
Photo by Rob Hodgkins via Wikimedia Commons
As you know, the earth is separated by 24 time zones, so our bodies don't adjust as easily as we would like. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to change your sleep routine so that your body can familiarise itself with the drastic change. If you're going west, go to bed later a few days prior to traveling and if you are heading east start going to bed earlier.
Likewise, your circadian rhythm responds to your eyes detecting light, hence why research suggests to avoid sleeping with artificial lights like lamps or televisions. Controlling your exposure to these types of lighting by wearing sunglasses can help change your circadian rhythm naturally.
Photo by Num Skyman via Free Digital Photos
Another tip to keep in mind is booking a longer lay over if possible. Whilst travelling to Europe, I made sure to stop over for at least 10 hours to stay at a hotel located in Singapore airport. I went straight to bed and slept for 9 hours straight, showered and was ready feeling fresh and awake for the next leg. This nap definitely helped my body adjust to a different time zone.
Like all natural remedies, it is best to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water during your flight. Avoiding drinks like caffeine and alcohol is best, as they can disrupt sleeping patterns, and can bring on headaches due to dehydration. Likewise, when flying long distances, keep active by walking around the cabin regularly, stretching in between as well.
Image courtesy of Suat Eman at Free Digital Photos
With a number of sleeping pills and relaxants readily available or prescribed by your doctor, natural remedies are not discussed as often as they should be. Many pills come with side effects, or if you're like me and skeptical about taking medications, natural steps can help take the edge off. However, if you are wanting to opt for insomnia relief, Valerian is a good choice, as it helps reduce the time taken to fall asleep without the feeling of morning drowsiness. It can be purchased from supermarkets or health food shops and comes in capsule form. It is a popular alternative to stronger prescribed sedatives and is suitable for air travel.