Breaking The Myth: Understanding The Do's and Don'ts of Jet Lag

Posted by Molly Turban on 13th Jun 2018

Here’s a riddle. What’s the one place that you pay a grand to be packed in tight like a sardine? The answer is an airplane. It seems as though airline travel has been given a bad rap these last few years. The thought of a long flight can send even the most seasoned business person or traveler into a panic. However, among all of these grumbles there is a well-defined culprit: jet lag.

For the new traveler jet lag can be a daunting obstacle. Many blogs offer quick suggestions on which healthy sleep aids to use; while other people joke that they should have packed their own white noise machine  because their seatmate snored all the way from San Diego to New York. With all of this information a traveler can easily be left wondering what information is the right information.

This quick guide will set you straight on the dos and don’ts of jet lag. So put down that coffee with a double shot of espresso and read on.

1.) Do Not Caffeinate!

You came a few hours before your flight’s supposed to leave. Now you’re sitting in the terminal waiting next to some old woman who will not stop talking about her grandkids. Suddenly, you are thinking that coffee never looked so good. Before you go looking for the nearest Starbucks, remind yourself that ingesting caffeine before a long flight can have serious consequences. The National Sleep Foundation notes that both caffeine and alcohol “act as stimulants.” So if you want to get some shut eye on the flight, hold off on caffeine and alcohol!

2.) Condition Yourself

If you’ve ever ran in a marathon you know that the sooner you start practicing the better. In many ways, adjusting your sleep schedule works the same way. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that you “Anticipate the time change for trips by getting up and going to bed earlier several days prior to an eastward trip and later for a westward trip.” So if you and your spouse are planning a dream trip to England, it wouldn’t hurt to get up a few hours earlier a couple days before your flight. 

3.) Nap Responsibly

You did it! You finally made it through your flight and you even managed to find your bags. Then suddenly you are exhausted. All you want to do is curl up in a ball on your hotel bed. If you have to nap, make sure it is a quick nap. This will ensure that your body is able to better adjust to the change in time zones. Make sure to set an alarm clock!

4.) Dress For Yourself

Although it might be tempting to style your hair and wear a nice outfit before going on a flight this can be a mistake. It’s a much better idea to wear something you feel comfortable in. Wearing layers can also prepare you for temperature changes on your flight. Not sure if you have the right travel pajamas? Check out our assortment of traveler approved pajamas.

With these four tips you are ready for takeoff. Remember a happy traveler is a well-rested traveler.