THE GUIDE TO OVERCOMING JET LAG

Jul 10, 2016

OVERCOMING JETLAG

4 great tips for overcoming jet lag and getting a restful night’s sleep while traveling.

TEXT BY JESSICA BLACKMUN  //  IMAGES BY JESSICA BLACKMUN

Sleeping while traveling can be difficult. With new environments, noisy surroundings, and ever-changing time zones, restful sleep can be near impossible. While we can usually go for a little while with minimal sleep after a few days it can take its toll. Despite the common saying “you can sleep when you’re dead”, overcoming jet lag and getting enough sleep is actually essential to getting the most out of your adventures! The amount of sleep that we get directly affects our emotional wellbeing, diet and immune system.
So here are a few ways that you can still get your ZZZ’s while you are chasing your adventures.

LAVENDER

The scent of lavender helps with anxiety and trouble sleeping. It lowers your heart rate and blood pressure making you more relaxed. This calming scent can help you overcome jet lag and sleep easier especially if you make it a part of your bedtime routine. There are many ways you can incorporate lavender into your life. The easiest way to do it is by using lavender essential oils. You can put a few drops in your bath (if you have access to one); you can diffuse it (there are travel diffusers), or even just put a couple of drops on your pillowcase and on the bottoms of your feet.

EARPLUGS & WHITE NOISE

Earplugs, while they may look and feel a little funny, can actually help you. Part of the struggle with overcoming jet lag and sleeping in new places is all of the noise! Even while you are sleeping your brain still processes sounds, so by wearing earplugs you can help to block a bit of the sound. Even better than just wearing earplugs though, is adding some white noise. With headphones that block outside noise you can get some peace from snoring neighbors, and other loud noises. Then the addition of white noise helps you to sleep through those even louder noises undisturbed. The addition of white noise to your sleeping routine can also be calming. I like to listen to crashing waves or rainforest sounds.

EYE MASKS

I’ll admit I used to make fun of people who wore eye masks on public transportation. But after traveling on a few longer trips, I soon realized that the joke was on me. While I tossed and turned trying to get in a little sleep so that I wouldn’t be a complete disaster once I reached my stop, they woke up at the end of the bus or plane ride completely refreshed and ready to go. Eye masks take a little while to get used to but they block out all of the light, making it much easier to sleep.

TURN OFF YOUR SCREENS

With social media and our dependency on technology, it’s pretty common for people to scroll through social media before bed. We want to see what are friends got up to, check our email, or watch the latest episode of our favorite show. We surf Pinterest, read a book on the iPad or Kindle, or we make a list of things to do and see the next day. While these things are fine to do, they should just be done before getting ready to go to bed. This is because the lighting that all of these screens emit actually make it harder for us to fall asleep. The videos, books, and social media also stimulate our brains, which is the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to sleep.
So before bed turn your devices off or on do not disturb mode. This will help you to better relax. Just make sure that if you need to be up by a certain time your alarm is still in place!

TIP: While these sleeping tips can help both napping and deep sleep, it is also important to remember your surroundings. If you are on public transportation make sure that your belongings are secure before getting some shut eye.

Are you into yoga? Here are my favorite Yoga Poses For Travelers!

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  1. Ray says:

    Another tip I use is to fight jet lag on your first day is to continue to stay up all day even if you took a Red Eye flight to get there. This worked wonders for me a few years ago when I was in Paris with some friends. Although we landed in the City of Lights around 8am or so, we managed to plow through the day and check out a few sites before calling it a night around 7pm. We ended up getting 12 hours of sleep that night and jet lag was no longer an issue for us for the remainder of the trip.

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