Imagine travelling 500mph through the sky, moving so fast and far that you leave time behind you. This is jet lag. Your body clock is stuck in the New York time zone, but now you’ve just landed for your Australian vacation. It’s only the afternoon, but your body thinks it’s 2 am. Do you eat a sandwich or block off all-natural daylight to nap?
Dealing with jet lag can cause clouded thinking, mood swings, irregular bowel movements and an overall feeling of not being well. Is there a magical cure for jet lag? From sunshine to CBD oil for mood regulation, keep reading to discover the seven best jet lag remedies to try!
What is Jet Lag
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Jet lag is the disruption of your body’s circadian rhythm caused by jumping over time zones. Jet lag symptoms can range from mild to acute and include:
- Disturbed sleep
- Digestive problems
- Brain fuzziness or fogginess
- Sleep paralysis and seizures
While jet lag is easier prevented than treated by following some basic guidelines, sometimes you can’t resist a quick nap or glass of wine on the plane and have fallen victim. Coping with jet lag isn’t easy and will require some work on your part.
How Long Does Jet Lag Last?
Combatting jet lag will be different for everyone. For example, people over the age of 60 will have a more challenging time regulating their circadian rhythm than someone younger. So how long does it take to adjust to jet lag?
Jet lag can last anywhere between a few days to even a few weeks. Usually, jet lag symptoms will occur most 1 to 1,5 days per time zone crossed. But different factors can increase the severity of your jet lag, including;
- More time zones crossed
- Afternoon arrivals
- An age of 60+
- Sleeping before travelling
- Alcohol and caffeine
Pampering yourself on the plane and following your usual bedtime routine can also further prevent a lack of sleep. So, do your skincare onboard and wear that eye mask.
How to Recover from Jet Lag?
Now that you know what jet lag is, the causes and what makes it worse, let’s dive into the best tips for jet lag and reversing it.
1. CBD Oil for Jet Lag
In recent years, there has been an increase in studies around the benefits of CBD. Within these, it has been shown that CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and can help alleviate jet lag symptoms. CBD has demonstrated help in treating REM sleep disorders, therefore helping you fall asleep.
It also assists you with alertness to combat daytime sleepiness. On top of aiding sleep, CBD has also shown to have camping effects and reduce anxiety and stress by distributing cortisol throughout the body. CBD is one of the natural remedies for jet lag and also helps maintain cognitive function and helps alleviate digestive issues
2. Melatonin to Reset Body Clock
If you’re looking for ways to overcome jet lag, you should try melatonin. This is a hormone that aids in regulating sleep. Melatonin works by building up in your body throughout the day to help you fall asleep at bedtime.
By taking melatonin as a supplement before bed, you can trick your body into thinking it’s tired. Therefore helping to adjust your cardiac rhythm quickly and is one of the best cures for jet lag.
3. Soaking Up the Sun
Have you ever wondered what the fuss is about with blue light glasses or night mode on your computers and smartphones? Well, blue light (that occurs from the sun and LED-lit screens) stimulates our brains, while warm lights or no light give our brains an indication that it’s time to sleep.
Sunlight makes managing jet lag slightly easier. When you want to be awake, make sure you sit outside in the sunlight, and if you want to be sleeping, avoid blue-lit screens and any daylight.
4. Fully Commit to a Time Zone
At the end of the day, we want to adjust to our new time zone and stop the feelings of jet lag. Embrace your new schedule. Try to sleep in a dark room during the night, don’t eat outside of mealtimes and proactively do things in the day.
5. Eat Light Meals
Eating smaller meals will not only with a wonky digestive system but will give you sustained energy to get through the day. Nutritionists suggest eating meals that consist of proteins, complex carbs, fruits and veggies. This gives you the best chance of sustained energy and avoids worsening crashes from a sugar spike or overeating. Delish published a list of foods that aid jet lag too.
It’s also recommended to avoid caffeine as it blocks your sleep hormones. That’s tea, coffee and energy drinks. You should also avoid drinking alcohol as this can worsen jet lag symptoms. Staying hydrated and drinking herbal and calming teas like calamine can help calm you and prepare your body for sleep.
Studies on this area are still underway, but so far, research has shown that people who exercise before 4 pm start their circadian rhythm earlier than those who exercise after. Therefore exercising at a specific time can help regulate your internal body clock. For example, if you need to stay awake for a while, hit the hotel gym or hop on a walking trail in the neighbourhood.
In contrast, if you want to sleep, you should maybe chill and read a book instead of pumping the iron.
7. Consult a Doctor
While jet lag usually eases up after a couple of days, some travellers can get it worse than others and experience acute symptoms like seizures or sleep paralysis. If your jet lag doesn’t fade away after about a month, it is recommended to visit a doctor. They will more than likely give you sleeping medications or some light therapy.
Final Comments on the Best Remedies for Jet Lag
Finding the best way to cure jet lag can be tricky, but with these tips for jet lag, hopefully, you’re able to knock it out of the park and enjoy your much-deserved vacation. So whether you prefer a more natural method of taking CBD oil and basking in the sun or you want to go straight to sleep medication and melatonin supplements, you’re equipped with all the information.