Luke and I are fortunate to travel often, sourcing textiles from all over Latin America for our beautiful Akasha collections... but it's not all wanderlust and Corona's by the beach, we have become well versed in the perils of jet lag! In collaboration with Tuck, we've put together a guide to help you ease the effects of this travel beast!
When you suffer from jet lag, you feel fatigued, sleepy, less alert and just plain weird. You may have difficulties with insomnia and may even have problems with your digestive system. For me personally, jetlag goes beyond the physical and effects my mentality also, for weeks after I've flown.
Jet lag creates complications with energy and sleep by misaligning your body's circadian rhythms with your physical environment. This happens because the sun sets or rises at a different time than your body is expecting, and meals and other activities occur at different times as well.
The first thing you need to know about beating jet lag is that jet lag always wins.
There is no easy way around it. If you're traveling over time zones, you're going to experience some jet lag, and there are no quick fixes.
However, there are certain steps you can take to lessen the effects of jet lag and get back to feeling normal faster. Try these strategies for beating jet lag:
Adjust your bedtime. You can reduce the effects of jet lag by gradually adjusting your bedtime before you leave. You can adjust it by one to two hours each day until you're sleeping in the local time zone. When traveling abroad, you can adjust for an hour each day for up to five days.
Don't go to sleep upon arrival. Although you may be tired when you get to your destination, avoid taking a full night's rest if it's not nighttime when you get there. If you need to rest, take a short nap (under an hour) and then go to sleep when it's nighttime.
Give yourself downtime. Plan ahead for working through the effects of jet lag when you arrive. You may be eager to jump in and take in all that you can right away but plan to give yourself a day or two to adjust and take on activities you can handle while fatigued.
Use daylight as a cue for your brain. Make sure to expose yourself to light when you wake up in the morning, as light exposure can help align your brain with the local time zone. Daylight tells your brain that it's time to be awake and alert. You can do this by opening the curtains at your hotel or getting out for a walk first thing in the morning.
Sleep well while traveling. Even in an unfamiliar place, it's important to practice good sleep hygiene. Maintain your regular bedtime routine as closely as possible to trigger feelings of sleepiness. Check reviews to find hotels that offer a cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable room and bedding. Use a white noise machine or sleep mask if needed. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, large meals, and screen time right before bed.
Be active and social. It may be difficult to get out when you're feeling fatigued, but getting exercise and socializing with people who are on local time can help you adjust. Your body will adjust easier as you participate in activities, such as meal times, according to local time.
Practice yoga. Here is a beautiful yoga sequence to help you find grounding and rejuvinate your body.
If you have any other tips for combating the dreaded jetlag share below, we'd love to hear from you.