11 Amazing Ways to Beat Jet Lag

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The top tips for beating jet lag include planning ahead, sleeping on the flight, drinking water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and the use of lavender oil, pineapple, homeopathy, and many more!

Jet lag also known as time zone change syndrome or desynchronosis is a disorder that affects millions of people each year who travel longitudinally by plane. It can often take a few days to get over, which includes being wide awake in the middle of the night in your new locale, feeling exhausted during the day, and generally “lagging behind” the rest of the world.

People have developed plenty of home remedies for jet lag over the years; let’s take a closer look at these 10 ways to beat jet lag.

Ways to Beat Jet Lag

There are many natural remedies available to beat jet lag, the most effective ones are listed below: 

Plan Ahead

Traveling can be hectic, but anticipating jet lag is often the best way to beat it. Ensure that you get proper rest before your trip depending on where you are traveling. This will help your body accustom itself to the new time zone easier and more rapidly.

Change the Meal Times

Beating jet lag can be as easy as changing your meal times, claims a study conducted by the University of Surrey. The researchers say that by simply shifting your breakfast time to five hours from waking up delays the blood sugar at the same time, and thus helps calm the circadian rhythm. Simply put, adjust your body clock to the place where you’re landing and be free of jet lags!


Sleep on the Plane

The problems with jet lag often arise due to a combination of exhaustion and screwed up time zones. If you can manage to snag some restful sleep on the plane trip, your body will be far more prepared to tackle the time zone shift once you land. It isn’t easy to do, but try to use a pillow, some earbuds, or any other natural sleep aid that might help.

Use Lavender Oil

This particular oil has been shown to enhance sleep in a natural way, unlike pharmaceuticals and other common sleep aids. Sprinkle some lavender oil on your pillow and enjoy restful sleep, either before your travels or once jet lag sets in upon your arrival. Restful, recuperative sleep is what you need!

Eat Pineapple

Pineapples are full of many beneficial nutrients, including melatonin, which is an important hormone in our bodies that is crucial in the regulation of our sleep cycles and circadian rhythms. Typically, melatonin is released based on the amount of light out body perceives, but jet lag confuses that process. Extra melatonin in your diet, from oranges, pineapples, or melatonin supplements, helps our bodies fall back into a natural cycle.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

It may be tempting to use alcohol to fall asleep, or caffeine to overcome tiredness, but these two chemicals can confuse an already confused body! It can actually take longer to overcome jet lag if you continue artificially manipulating your sleeping and wakefulness.

Increase Fluid Intake

Dehydration is dangerous under any condition, but if you’re also suffering from jet lag, the lack of energy and cognitive impairment of even minor dehydration can make the uncomfortable sensation last for days, perhaps even your whole trip. Putting enough fluids in your body can effectively help jet lag, or at least not make it worse!

Have the Right Mindset

Our minds are powerful things, but we can sometimes trick them if we try hard enough. By setting your watch to the time zone to which you are flying as soon as you get on the plane, your body will begin to think along the same “timeline” and it will be easier for you to sleep at appropriate times, more specifically, during the same times you’ll hope to sleep in your destination.

Ways to beat jet lag - infographic

Eat Light Meals

Not that airplane food is that exceptional anyways, but eating a heavy meal can cue our “mealtime” clock, which is one of the ways our body tells us what time it is. By eliminating our mealtime clock and possibly fasting for a few hours (and during the flight), our body can be tricked into re-setting its internal clocks, thus beating jet lag.

Use Naps Wisely

When you do arrive and feel jet lag setting in, don’t immediately crash into a nap. Try to stay awake until a normal sleeping hour, and use naps sparingly. Passing out in the middle of the day upon arrival can be disastrous, solidifying the jet lag for an extra few days, rather than getting it over quickly.

Avoid Depressants or Sleeping Pills

Artificially forcing sleep on your body is a poor choice if you’re worried about jet lag. Depressants and sleeping pills don’t provide restful, recuperative sleep; they simply force your body into a sleep state, just like alcohol. In the long run, trusting behavioral and natural solutions for jet lag will help you feel back to normal much faster!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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