I feel like I have lived the majority of my adult life in a semi state of jetlag. I have spent the past thirteen years constantly on the move, and be it little or large time changes, they all seem to leave their mark on my wellness. I have tried so many methods and supplements, and what has been obvious is that you can’t just take a pill to make it go away. Your bodies circadian rhythm is delicate, and set by sleep, food, and sunlight exposure. I have found working with that natural rhythm to be the best way to deal with jetlag – so below are my top tips for coping with time changes!
This will always be my number one tool for coping with life in general. It helps you to remain calm, open, and accepting of all that can happen to you in life. And jetlag can definitely throw you through an emotional and physical loop. So meditate each morning (and night if you need to) and give yourself a little break from the monkey mind.
Exercise first thing in the morning.
Try to do it outside if you can – the sun exposure on your skin helps to reset your circadian rhythm. I find that this gets me nice and exhausted come evening time, and gives me a nice boost in the morning. Plus you get to see your new location. I love morning sunrise runs!
Drink loads of water.
Especially with flying – give your body the best chance it has to bounce back from the travel. Flying is so dehydrating, and you are mostly water. So drink up!
When flying, pack your own food if possible.
I tend to eat quite light whilst flying (you wont starve to death on a five hour flight, or even a fourteen hour flight) and find this tends to help reset me once I land. I avoid airplane food as much as possible, and if eating, try to time my meals with my time zone once I land. I focus on fruit and vegetables; basically light foods that are full of water, and are easy on the digestion.
Have a wind down practice before sleep time.
This is so important for me, a way for my brain to get the message to relax. Obviously everyone’s will be different, but here is mine. About an hour before I want to go to bed, I make my room cold, turn out all the lights, turn down the backlight to my computer and watch two to three episodes of 30 Rock. It’s like a security blanket for me, and helps slow my mind down (hilariously). Then right before I go to bed I call my husband and we have a quick chat.
I have tried all those herbal jetlag pills, and none of them work. I stick to my usual supplement routine when traveling (namely probiotics, magnesium, GABA and CBD oil in the evening, and a Chinese herbal blend, and turmeric and black pepper blend in the morning).
Embrace white noise wherever you’re staying.
Sometimes I travel with a white noise machine, but I mostly try to have a fan running in my room. Helps to make an unfamiliar room a little more comfortable for me.
I use a machine called the Somnius, by Nutesla. My friends father created it, and I am still not 100% sure how it works! But it is a small black box that fits under your pillow, and emits frequencies that match your brain waves in sleep mode. I have found my sleep has improved hugely since I incorporated it – and my jetlag is not as bad as it used to be.
At the end of the day, our bodies are not evolved to deal with large time changes quickly, so we need to go easy on ourselves. Try not to overdo it in the first couple of days, and if you can’t sleep at night, do not beat yourself up over it! Get a good book, and try to relax. And during the day enjoy being in a new place; immerse yourself to the point where you are absolutely exhausted at night. Travel rules, and jetlag doesn’t have to be too awful.