Going long-haul this summer? Try these natural remedies for jet-lag says Eva Ramirez
Holiday time is precious and no one wants to waste it feeling bleary-eyed and groggy. Dreaded jet-lag is unavoidable, but of all the myths and fabled solutions, there are a few natural alternatives proven to lessen its effects and help sufferers adjust to changing time zones sooner. Next time you travel long-haul, avoid sleeping pills and double espressos and give these tips a go instead.
1. Beware of coffee
Don’t drink coffee the day before, the day of, or the day after travelling. As much as we may love it, coffee is not only dehydrating but also a stimulant which affects your ability to sleep, thus increasing jet lag recovery time.
2. Avoid time-zone confusion
Don’t check what the time is in the place you’ve left. Change your phone/watch over to your new time zone on the plane and don’t be tempted to compare the two because it’ll confuse your brain – trust me on this one!
3. Opt for an eye-mask
Use an eye mask when sleeping or if napping so you can have as deep a sleep as possible. Darkness encourages the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
4. Smell your way to a good sleep
When you’re ready to drift off, sniff on some essential oils like NEOM’s blend of English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine. These natural ingredients are calming and known to help with relaxation. Plus they have a little ‘Sleep on the Go’ travel set that’ll fit into your hand luggage.
5. Time your meals
Coordinate your meal times to the destination you’re travelling to so that your body adapts to the new time zone quicker.
6. (Turmeric) tea time
Try adding some turmeric to your food or add a teaspoon of a ready-to-drink turmeric tea to some hot water (which in-flight attendants will give you for free). Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, so it will support your immune system and help improve your circulation.
7. Water, water, water
Low humidity levels inside planes have dehydrating effects so drink plenty of water to remedy this. Keeping hydrated will help with the bloating many people experience when travelling too.
8. Stretch it out
If you can muster the energy, do some stretching or yoga on your first morning in a new time zone to encourage blood flow, calm your nervous system and give you an endorphin boost. Wearing compression socks in-flight will help maintain healthy blood circulation too.
9. You sleep what you eat
Avoid heavy or processed foods while in transit because having to digest these can be an added strain on your body. Too much salt is dehydrating too. Opt for simple, nutrient-dense food like vegetable soups, smoothies and cooked vegetables which will keep you feeling energised instead of sluggish.
10. Soak up some vitamin D
If it’s daytime in your destination when you arrive, get outside and soak up the daylight. Sunny or not, it will help your circadian rhythm to adjust and signal to your body and brain that it’s daytime, not nap time!
Eva Ramirez is a travel, lifestyle and wellness writer.