6 Tips for minimizing jet lag

November 10, 2013 in Inspiration

Jet lag

Hawaii: Day 5

We’re beginning to feel like people again. 

Truth be told, the jet lag between Australia and Hawaii was not nearly as bad as we expected it to be. Far less dramatic than making the leap clear to the east coast of the USA in one go. It’s been the perfect place to sleep off the first wave of time difference and gear up for re-entry.

How we deal with jet lag is a recurring question, everyone has their strategies, I thought today I’d share ours.

1. Jump in to local time

In spite of the fact that we only manage a few hours of fitful sleep on a plane, we try to jump in to local time right away. Arriving in Hawaii at 6:00 a.m. we celebrated with brunch and tried to act like it was morning. The first day is painful, but it minimizes the body clock reset time!

2. Minimize naps

Napping for an hour or two on the day of arrival might be essential, especially if we’ve flown halfway around the world, but we try not to crash out for six hours in the middle of a new day. Nap too long and you won’t be able to go to sleep at the “right” time.

3. Sunshine

Lots, and lots of sunshine. Our first day in Bangkok we walked around for a couple of hours (and got completely lost) in Hawaii, we headed for the beach with our friends. The vitamin D your body is making is good for you and something about that phototherapy shortens the length of the jet lag discomfort.

4. Rest

We’ve found that it takes us three days to really recover from jet lag. Day one, we feel like death, day two, we think, “Hey, this isn’t so bad!” On day three it hits hard again, and then by day four, we’re over it. Resist the urge to dive into extreme sports as soon as you hit the ground, or go out partying! REST. Give your body three days to recover from the shock of a continental shift.

5. Stay Well

We’ve noticed that our immune systems seem to take a hit when we make a big move. We’ve come to call this “continental shift” sickness and we’ve learned to take steps to prevent it. We take an immunity booster for a week before and a week after we swap continents. It seems to help our systems fight the new bugs and the changes in climate and allergens. We also drink lots of water and eat as many fresh things as we can. Fast food makes us sick on a normal day, when we’re traveling, it’s deadly!

6. Survive

At the end of the day, we just have to get through it. We opt for comfort and convenience for a few days, we sleep a bit more than normal, we focus on making time for what each person seems to need most, and we know it will pass. Some things, you’ve just gotta get through!


What about you? What are your tips and secrets for minimizing jet lag?