Yesterday we told you about how we are living our lives lately in perpetual jet lag. We’re tired – a lot. But things could be worse. We do take steps to remedy our jet lag and I can’t imagine what things would be like if we didn’t follow a few rules.

So as avid travellers who suffer from Jet Lag regularly, who better to tell you how to try to manage jet lag?

Our Advice to Combat Jet Lag

1. Avoid Alcohol. We don’t drink alcohol when we fly. When we were new travellers, we jumped at the chance to have a glass of wine on a flight, but we paid for it later. The effects of alcohol are greater at altitude and a person becomes dehydrated quickly when flying.  If you have a couple of glasses before you fly and than a glass or two on the flight, you’ll be feeling the effects of a hangover before you even touch ground. We now have regular lounge access at the airports and we still don’t take advantage of the free booze. Instead we sit back enjoy the food and stay hydrated.

jet lag remedies

Avoiding Alcohol before and during the flight

2. Drink plenty of Water – Speaking of staying hydrated. We only drink water and juice on flights. We recommend drinking water over tea, coffee or soda because you need to stay hydrated. Instead, stick drinks without caffeine and make sure to take advantage of the flight attendant who walks by with a tray of drinks throughout the flight. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you need to drink. Trust me, you’ll feel better when you land.

3. Sleep - It is important to sleep on the plane, especially on a long haul flights. Most flights to Europe happen overnight and you arrive in the morning. If you can get as many hours as possible of shut eye, you’ll be able to function better when you hit the ground. Avoid watching movies, playing video games or working on your computer. This will make you wired rather than tired and I have wasted many a flight in the past watching terrible movies when I should be sleeping.

sleeping on the plane to avoid jet lag

4. Have an Arsenal of Travel Gear – Sleeping on an airplane is uncomfortable so make sure you have a neck pillow, eye mask, sweater and ear plugs. I’ve slept like a baby ever since David’sBeenHere sent us one of his pillows to sample. I’ve always hated neck pillows because  they pushed my head forward. But Dave’s neck pillow is flat in the back and only inflates on the sides. Now my head rests comfortably on the seat and I don’t wake up with a stiff and sore neck. Plus, the material is soft cotton, just like a tea shirt. It feels sooo good.

Get your own neck pillow at Dave’s Travel Store

I can’t sleep without my eye mask to keep out the light and we both tend to use our earbuds rather than our earplugs to block out the noise. I’m not a fan of having the airlines blanket anywhere near my face, so instead I wear my cozy fleece to stay warm.

5. Move Around – My legs and arms swell up like balloons when we fly. It’s a good idea to get up and walk around every so often. Wiggle those fingers and toes and get the blood circulating. Staying in the seat the entire flight is not a good idea. Stand up more than just walking to the bathroom a couple of times.

Jet Lag Remedies

Stretching Out During the Flight

6. Melatonin – My parents swear by Melatonin and so did our guide during our Context Travel tour today in Barcelona. It was a funny moment, she mentioned Melatonin out of the blue and I just had to add it in. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to sync your biological clock. When you boost your melatonin it tells the body to go to sleep. Taking a Melatonin supplement may just be the trick your body needs. We haven’t tried it, have you and what were the results?

Do you have any Jet Lage Remedies that could help us out? Leave your best cure and give us some more advice. We’ll be experiencing it again in a couple of weeks maybe this time we’ll combat the beast once and for all.

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15 Comments

  1. Melissa

    I recently bought some compression socks to wear for a few long flights I have coming up. The person at the pharmacy seemed to think that they would help with jet lag as well as leg and foot swelling.

    My plan for combating jet lag is to try to take a short nap at my destination if I need to but get some fresh air and sunshine, fight through tiredness and go to bed at a reasonable bedtime. I’ve done this the two times I’ve travelled from Canada across the pond and while the first day when I landed was a bit rough, by the next morning I was right as rain.

  2. Ralph Velasco

    Great info, D&D. I follow many of your recommendations and also like to set my “watch” (it’s really my iPhone) to the local time of my destination, so I start thinking on that time from the start. Doing some stretches while up and about in the cabin can be a good idea, too.

    I’m going to buy that neck pillow you suggest, too, I can’t stand the regular ones.

  3. Ali

    Great advice! I wrote about jet lag a couple weeks ago because it’s such an irritating thing to have to deal with. Another important thing for after your flight is to do whatever you can to get on the local time schedule as soon as possible, even if it means forcing yourself to stay awake when you want to sleep. I’ve never tried melatonin but I have heard it works. Maybe I’ll try it one of these days!

  4. Larissa Milne

    Great suggestions! I find drinking a lot of water serves a dual purpose–it hydrates me and forces me to get up and use the bathroom periodically.

    Michael and I actually have a post-flight routine we’ve developed over the years: http://wp.me/p1DSu5-4Z

    I also always travel with a scarf/pashmina thing which can double as a blanket or cushion for my lower back.

  5. Alberghi Krk

    Me and my husband would be interested to have holiday soon and we have enough money earned. We are thinking to travel bit far from our place but our problem might be the jet lag so I guess this will really be so helpful. We won’t be worried now to travel long distance because we will know how to work on this jet lag.

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  8. Jeremy R. Last

    Great tips, I do all those things with wherever I go and I’m able to beat jet-lag fairly quick with nearly everywhere I’ve been, however the return home always destroys me lol…

    I travel the same way both ways so maybe it’s the comfort of being home and there’s no rush or euphoria of traveling but I always get rocked coming back and when I returned from Thailand (14 timezones away) it almost took two weeks, even 7 days after I returned I remember sleeping like the dead until 3pm which is very weird for me to do as a rarely take naps.

    I’ve heard/read/experienced that it takes 1-day for each timezone and this seems to be exactly right for me coming home… going to my destination is usually half, if you follow your tips.

  9. Jeremy Branham

    For me, the biggest one is GO GO GO once you land. When crossing multiple time zones, you may be tired even if you do all of these. However, adjust to the time change as quickly as possible and try to stay up. It hasn’t always worked for me but I try :)

    I do love #4 – I do this every time I fly. Sleeping on a place isn’t great but all of this helps!

  10. Priyank

    Hi Deb n Dave, I try to force myself to stay awake longer and try to adjust to new cycle soon. Walking in the sun helps, so does eating peanuts I’m told. Peanuts delay metabolism, making your digestion system more receptive to meals at odd hours.
    Priyank

  11. Ryan

    As a long time, marathon traveler, this is a great list and awesome way to avoid that terrible jet lag. One thing I would put more emphasis on as well is the nutrition you’re putting in your body. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and as you mentioned, drink a ton of water. Also, ear plugs. Ear plugs have been one of my greatest investments while traveling.

    Thanks!

    Ryan

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  13. Neetu Agarwal

    This is a safe and effective remedy for countering jet lag, in the form of easy-to-take tablets. Its effectiveness has been proved in a scientific trial of round-the-world passengers and confirmed by longhaul flight attendants in a test conducted in cooperation with their union. Being a homeopathic preparation using extremely low dosages, No-Jet-Lag has no side effects and is compatible with other medications. It has no connection with the controversial hormone melatonin. No-Jet-Lag is available at luggage stores, health stores, pharmacies and international airports.

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