jet lag

Five easy ways to beat jet lag on your next international trip.

Panashe Ziramba - 08.06.2021

Jet lag can be avoided, believe it or not. Here are five simple ways to beat it.

We hear people who travel often speak about jet lag but no one ever talks about how to beat it.

What is jet lag?

First, we need to understand what being jet lagged means, the medical term of which is desynchronosis.

This is when your body clock is not in sync. Usually, when you move from one time zone to another, your body feels it is still in your previous time zone but physically you’re somewhere else.

This is not permanent and has no long-term effects. There is also no prolonged treatment for the condition. Moreover, feeling jetlagged is always worse when travelling from West to East.

Symptoms of jet lag may include;

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • No appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhoea

If symptoms don’t go away after a week or two, make sure to consult with your doctor.

Here are five ways to beat it

1. Keep track of your meals

Try to stay away from caffeine, processed foods and anything high in carbohydrates. Instead, have fruits from time to time and avoid getting too full.

2. Drink lots of water

The air plane pressure already puts you in a state of deficiency and often you are dehydrated without even realising it. Always keep a water bottle with you and remind yourself to drink.

3. Light exposure

Light has the biggest effect on our body clock, the brain can then speed up the process of our body clock to regulate it. Artificial light can also help but after long periods of time it can slowly start affecting the eyes and brain.

4. Exercise

As soon as you land, exercise. Not the heavy lifting exercises but basic ones that help your metabolism get moving. A little cardio, jumping jacks, and skipping can also really help.

5. Plan your arrival

Buy tickets where you will arrive at your destination in the evening. That way falling asleep won’t be hard, and a good rest is what’s most important after a long flight.