Jet-lag can be a pain, and many spend the first day in their new time zone trying to deal with it. While it may seem impossible to cure, I've pulled together some tips from my own travelling experiences to show how you can end jet-lag before you even step foot on the plane.
#1 Adjust Your Watch a Few Days in Advance
Usually, you adjust your watch once you've crossed into a time zone. However, something that I have found helpful is to change your watch a few days, or even weeks, in advance. Instead of following the local time, go by your adjusted time. Start with just changing your sleep schedule, and then alter your meal times. This will help your body get used to the new timetable at its own pace, rather than pushing it to adjust as soon as you cross into the new time zone. However, sometimes the time-change is so drastic you can't make yourself follow your new schedule exactly. If that's so, alter your eating and sleep times by as much as you can manage so that the shock won't be as big when you arrive at your destination.
#2 Load Up on Carbs
I can just hear your groans on this one. "But I'll get fat!" you argue. Carbs may seem like the spawn of all evil, but when travelling, and especially when trying to beat jet-lag, they can be invaluable. Something I've found helpful is, a few days in advance, to load up on complex carbohydrates. Not sodas and sugar, but good carbs such as pasta and bread. Eating a lot of protein isn't a bad idea either. This will give your body the necessary energy to fuel itself for travelling, and keep you from being lethargic if you haven't quite adjusted to the timezone. Another thing you can do is follow the Four-Day Diet. Diet, I know, but I've tried it and it works. Here's how it goes:
Day One: Load up on those carbs and protein, baby. Bread, pasta, steak, even hamburgers all do a great job with providing you with lots of complex carbohydrates.
Day Two: Stick to lighter meals such as soups, salads, and juices. Restrict yourself from any alcohol or coffee. Don't worry, it gets better.
Day Three: Another day of light fasting. Still no coffee or any alcohol.
Day Four: This is usually the day before you travel. Throw away your soup fast and load up on complex carbs and high-protein foods. However, there's still no coffee or alcohol.
Day Five: Usually once you've arrived. For breakfast, eat more high-protein foods and complex carbs. A little coffee's okay now. For lunch, stick to that light fast and then for dinner eat more carbs. Wait to drink alcohol until the next day.
You can tweak this diet as you'd like, but I've found that it does help you avoid jet-lag and boost your energy levels while travelling, even if it can be difficult to follow.
#3 Drink as Much Water as a Dehydrated Camel
Okay, maybe I exaggerated. You don't want to drink too much water, or you'll get water intoxication, and that won't help anything. But you do want to drink a lot of water. Drinking water will keep from adding even more exhaustion when you're already fighting jet-lag. As well as energizing your muscles and helping you to think clearly, it can help prevent sickness and keep your skin looking great. Drink lots of water on the days leading up to the time-change, and, if your flight allows it, bring a big bottle with you on the plane.
I know how nasty jet-lag is, so I hope this list helps. Let me know if you try any of these methods in the comment section below, and whether helped you in fighting jet-lag or not.
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***Happy New Years everyone! If you're traveling, I hope your travels are safe and enjoyable!