My summer just went out with a bang, as I returned from a 10-day vacation last night. And although the first half was relaxing, the last half was all “go” with a wedding and some other major events.
I had to cross time zones, which is great upon arrival at your destination, but not so great when you’re coming home. So, yes, you guessed it: this morning I’m dealing with a serious case of jet lag.
My regular morning activities have definitely been a struggle so far, even though I went to bed rather early last night and had a good sleep. The problem is that I didn’t follow all the tips I know for how to beat jetlag. And I’m not talking sleeping pills here!
How to Beat Jetlag Naturally
To get over the jet lag naturally and make sure it’s not hanging around tomorrow or throughout the week, I know there are few things I can do. And if you’ve come back from a trip and are looking to ease back into daily life as quickly as possible, they can work for you, too.
Schedule Your Return Flight Wisely
One of the first things you can do is pick a return flight that arrives early in the day or evening. For example, my return flight landed around 5 p.m., so I had time to get home, eat dinner, and perform my normal routine before bed. I made sure to go to bed at 10 p.m.—in fact, the Sleep Foundation recommends this to get over jet lag.
Be Cautious with Naps
The one problem was that I took a nap before, at around 7:30, which delayed my actual sleep. If you have to take a nap, do it early in the afternoon and for no longer than an hour or two (depending on where you’re coming from).
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
The next tip is to avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol three to four hours before bedtime, which could be a problem for those who like to finish a vacation with a beer, wine, or mixed drink when they get home. But if you’re only home a few hours before bedtime, these beverages can disturb your sleep and mean jetlag fatigue is more likely to stick around.
Daylight is one of the best natural stimulants around, so getting outside for a walk can also help fight off fatigue associated with jetlag. The National Sleep Foundation goes as far as saying that staying indoors makes jetlag worse, so getting out is highly recommended.
Book a Recovery Day
Lastly, I’d recommend having nothing scheduled for the day after your flight—at least nothing that requires your full attention. If possible, give yourself a free day to rest up, get outside, and regulate your mind and body so you can jump back into life full steam! Trust me; I’m learning the hard way!
Source for Today’s Article
“Back from vacation? How to get over jetlag,” The National Sleep Foundation web site, 2016; https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/back-vacation-how-get-over-jet-lag, last accessed September 22, 2016.