Jet lag can occur when you travel across time zones and your body has a hard time adjusting to the timedifference. The maximal time difference you can have is 16 hours which is if you travel from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.
I travel a lot between New York and Europe. Almost every month I have a round trip crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Traveling in Europe or to Tel Aviv is just 2 hours time difference (in example from London to Tel Aviv) so that is not so hard for the body to adjust to.
A lot of my friends and people I meet on my journey ask me how I deal with jetlag because for them it can take up to 10 days to get adjusted to it.
I travel like a maniac which has resulted in several gold membership in both Star Alliance and One World.. or and also a silver card Virgin Flight Club… I believe I can qualify as a frequent flyer!?
I would love to share my tips on how I manage jet lag and it really does not affect me if I follow my rules. Just the first day when you arrive is tough but I stay determined (always) and then I am all good the following day.
When I say jet lag then I refer to flights with more than 5 hours time difference because that’s where the body’s biological system gets really messed up, I think.
Rule 1 – flight time:
I try to book my flight myself. Even when my agency (here I refer to modeling jobs or blogger jobs) then I ask them what the budget is for the flight and then I prefer booking the flight myself. Then I can book with the airlines I prefer so I get my points (well I am Jewish after all) and a good deal of course but most importantly I want to depart and arrive when I know it is best for my body.
When I fly from Europe to North America I prefer flying around noon or in the afternoon because then I arrive late afternoon or in the evening in the US. The night before my flight I do not sleep so much just around 4-5 hours. Then I have my morning in Europe and get the airport. On the flight I can enjoy the first hours with a movie, book, or work on my laptop. I usually always end of writing a bunch of emails which gets send as soon as I hit some wifi. And then I make sure to get about 1-4 hours sleep on the flight. That depends on how tired I am but I make sure to get some sleep. If you arrive in the afternoon then do a workout. This is really the best way to neutralize the body. You can either do a yoga, barrys bootcamp, or whatever you prefer.
When I arrive in the US I have a dinner and then I try to stay awake for as long as possible which usually ends up me hitting the pillow around midnight and being really tired.
Then I can sleep through to 6-7AM. Maybe I wake up once during the night but force myself to sleep again. If you did not make it to the gym the day before you hit it now. It is a good way to start the day and neutralize the body from the jetlag.
Then that day you will in the afternoon around 4PM feel tired and then I allow myself to drink a coffee which I usually do not drink that late together with some sweets. Eat a piece of cake, chocolate, or whatever you crave to give you some energy. And make plans at night for a dinner so you do not end up going to bed at 8PM just because you are a little bit tired.
Rule 2 – Melatonin:
When you take overnight flight from wherever you are flying from and to in the world I highly recommend taking some kind of relaxing sleeping medication. You can go the natural way or the chemical way. I do not care. Do whatever you prefer but it is important to get a real sleep for at least 4-5 hours.
Personally, I prefer melatonin. I have a small pack of melatonin with me. I buy the ones that has 10 milligram. and tastes like strawberry. They taste delicious 🙂 I take it as soon as I hit my seat. Once I took my melatonin at the gate just before boarding but then the boarding got postponed which resulted in me almost falling asleep at the gate and a AirFrance employee woke me up as I was the only person left at the gate and she wanted to make sure that I was not missing the flight back to Paris. Thank you Clementine. This experience taught me to wait to take the melatonin until I am INSIDE the plane.
I know some people who say that they can never sleep on flights. If you are one of those people then do not take an overnight flight. You can take a day flight which means that you can fly from New York in the morning and arrive in London in the evening and go straight to bed. It is essential for the body to get some hours of sleep every day and flying shall not be an excuse for skipping a night of sleep.
Rule 3 – Do not lack on snacks:
I am the biggest snack person that exist in todays world (full stop). My friends make fun of me. I love snacks and I always have something with me but it also relates to the fact that a lot of times on jobs you never know when there is food, and what you get, so I prefer having some healthy delicious snacks with me.
Moreover, I have a low blood pressure so if I feel I suddenly do not have energy then I eat a snack.. or 3.
This is the same for flights. Sometimes you wait hours for the food to arrive or you fell asleep while the staff were serving food so now you have to wait for 5 hours more. Then snacks comes in very handy.
Also, the quality and taste of the food serving on flights vary a lot. I have eaten so much really not good flight food so now I already think that the food is bad so I bring my own which is always better than the person next to me are eating. I have never regret bringing my own food.
If I plan well then I bring something from the city I am in. And if I know I am flying from an airport like Heathrow airport in London where I know there are a lot of snacks and food places I can take a melted tuna sandwich from or noodles from Wagamama then I do that.
So this rule is plan your food and do not lack on snacks.
Rule 4 – Flight socks:
I tempt to get swollen feet and legs while flying. Actually my whole body feels bloated. My mother told me from the age of 20, which was when she realized that I travelled more than just twice a year of the family trips as a kid, that I needed to use compression socks. She gifted me a really ugly nude color pair of compression socks that she bought in the bandagist store (which is not something would or should know if you are younger than 40 years old now 😉
I have to give my mother the credit of the benefit of the socks as they actually really help on blood circulation which decreased the “sleepyness” of my feet and legs and also helps on keeping my legs tight and not swollen at all.
Because of the non-fashionable compression socks available in retail stores I created my own socks which you can see and shop here on ThisWay.
I highly recommend you always to fly with compression socks. Even if the flight is only 3 hours it still helps and reduce your body for the balloon effect.
Rule 5 – Moist for flight:
I try to take as good care of my skin as possible. And flights are pure cruelty for the skin. I always remove all make-up before entering the flight. And I add a lot of serum and a good face cream. And while flying I spray rose water or another mist water to my face to hydrate the skin. This helps A LOT!
Do this on your next flight and you will already see big results.
Rule 6 – Workout:
I mentioned working out in rule 1 and I insist on a workout. The body is tired and exhausted after a long flight but working out and moving the body in different directions as a change from sitting down in a flight in the same position for so many hours is vital. If there is a hot yoga class then I prefer this. And do not get mad at yourself for not being as amazing in the class like you usually are. The superstar performer cannot perform at its best after a long flight but it is still so much better than nothing and you will notice it afterwards.
Rule 7 – Probiotics:
Think about what happens inside your body when you are sky high and all your organs are dancing and jumping to all possible sides. Probiotic is the only supplement I swear to and take everyday. Because I fly so much (so far 62 flights during the year 2019) then I take it everyday but when you travel I suggest you to take probiotic some days before your flight, while being on your journey, and some days after. This will maintain the digestive tract and keep a healthy balance. If you have a tendency to “traveler’s diarrhea or other uncomfortable stomach issues when traveling probiotic will help.
There are a lot of different probiotic supplements out there. It is a jungle with all the brands. I always try to go for the most clean and high quality brand I can find so I know it is worth the hassle of actually taking them.
Rule 8 – Water:
Drink at least 1 liter of water while flying. The raw fact is that in order to maintain the body fully hydrated while flying then you should drink 1 liter every 30 min. but this is inhuman so my rule is always to bring a big bottle of water onto the flight and then every time the staff serves beverages I get water. This helps for the body on the jetlag and to maintain your glory skin.
I hope you can make use of my jet lag tips and that you will incorporate them on your next travel.
xx and Safe Travels