People joke about jet lag, but it is often a serious condition that can disrupt normal functioning. Now that summer is here, many people are getting ready to travel. If you are traveling to a different time zone that is 6-7 hours behind or ahead of yours, then the following best remedies for jet lag can help you minimize your jet lag symptoms.
1. Prepare yourself ahead of your travel
Before traveling, try to establish a routine at home where you sleep and wake up according to the time at the destination. If this is not possible, you can prepare yourself in other ways including packing things that can help you when you are there. These include: a box of Epsom salts and a packet of baking soda (you will need these to add to your bath water to soak in a tub bath and we will discuss this remedy later), eye blinder sleeves (to sleep when it is daylight outside), caffeinated beverage sachet, and melatonin pills. You could also record some soothing music to help you relax and carry a novel or reading material which can make you drowsy. You must also adjust your watch to the time at the destination.
2. Remain hydrated
What do you take for jet lag? The answer is water. Start drinking copious amounts of water before you leave on your journey. Also try and stay hydrated during the flight since air plane journeys are notoriously dehydrating. Drink at least 8-10 cups of water on flight and a couple of glasses once you arrive at your hotel. Stay away from caffeinated beverages and alcohol which can further dehydrate your system.
3. Adjust your sleeping patterns
Try and adjust your sleeping patterns- as if you have already arrived. Even if you feel sleepy on the flight but it is morning at the destination, stay awake by watching in-flight entertainment. If however, it is nighttime at your destination, try to sleep as much as possible on the flight. If possible, try to fly business class as it tends to have more comfortable environment which can greatly improve the quality of your rest.
4. Take mild sleep medication
This is especially true for those looking for severe jet lag treatment. In case you are just not able to rest at all and get over the jet lag, do ask a doctor to prescribe a mild sedative. It is certainly not recommended taking such pills for prolonged periods, but they can help in the beginning phase of the jet lag.
5. Adjust your meals to the destination timings
This is an important remedy to reduce jet lag. You could even refuse airline meals which are served according to the time of your current location. Try and eat a little snack to ward off starving but only eat a full meal once you have arrived.
Exercise can help you relax by releasing feel good hormones. So workout in the morning once you are at your destination-this will also help you feel more awake during the daytime. You can also workout for an hour before bedtime to help you sleep longer and better.
7. Eat more protein during breakfast
Eating a protein rich breakfast can help you feel more alert. In case you are setting off for a meeting after a long travel, drink a caffeinated beverage at breakfast. Try and schedule important meetings earlier during the day when you feel more awake.
8. Take Melatonin at bedtime
Melatonin helps you sleep better and is one of the best remedies for jet lag. So, for people with severe jet lag, taking melatonin (3 mg standard dose) before sleeping can help. This will tell your body it is time to sleep and help adjust your circadian rhythm to the new timings. Always consult your physician if taking melatonin is right for you. Here are some melatonin boosting foods:
9. Add Epsom salts to bath water
This is one of the best herbal remedies for jet lag symptoms. Add one cup of Epsom salts and 8 oz of baking soda to as much hot water as you can tolerate in a tub bath. Soak in the bath water for at least 10 minutes. Drink plenty of water after soaking. (Do not stand up immediately after soaking as your blood pressure will be elevated.) Make sure the hot water covers your shoulders and torso. Do not wash with soap after soaking. Relax for an hour after you have toweled off.
10. Best herbal remedies for jet lag
Many herbal essential oils like lavender oil, rosemary oil, chamomile oil and peppermint oil can help you relax and sleep longer when suffering from jet lag. Soak in tub bath to which these oils have been added.
11. Homeopathic remedies for jet lag
There are many jet lag homeopathic remedies including No Jet Lag which is readily available in health food stores. These contain Wild Chamomile, Leopard’s Bane, Ipecac and Clubmoss. Cocculus Indicus can also be taken if you are too tired to sleep or are feeling dizzy and irritable.
There is no standard remedy or ways to cure jet lag and what works for one may not work for another. Typically, jet lag symptoms will reduce after 5 days of travel but the above natural jet lag treatment options can help minimize your suffering.