Preventing jetlag begins well before your flight…
Planning itineraries and packing are part of the fun when it comes to overseas travel. Taking steps to prevent jet lag will help you arrive feeling fresher and ready to switch time zones with ease.
Jet lag occurs when you become out of sync with your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm that governs your appetite, metabolism, hormone levels, body temperature, sleep cycles and even gene expression.
Basically, every cell in your body follows the 24-hour clock in the hypothalamus region of your brain that produces the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Regular disruption to your natural circadian rhythm – the kind endured by shift workers and frequent fliers – has been linked to health issues including cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Occasional jet lag – the kind you suffer on your annual trip abroad – wastes precious vacation time.
1. Start early
To maximise your time away, the trick is to start preparing early, ideally a week before your departure date.
If the time at your destination is ahead of the time at home, start shifting your bedtime and morning alarm forward by an hour a day. Or if the time at your destination is behind, then start going to bed and rising an hour later each day.
2. Get in sync
On the day of your departure, wear a wristwatch and set it to the local time at your destination to help you transition.
If it’s daytime at your destination then watch a movie or read on the plane instead of sleeping. If it’s nighttime at your destination, skip the in-flight meal and sleep instead.
Try to do this before you leave for the airport. The more you try to acclimatise before you leave, the easier your transition will be.
The free app Entrain by researchers at the University of Michigan, simulates your circadian clock on your phone and makes optimal lighting recommendations to help you adjust to new time zones as fast as possible.
Going without sunglasses for 20 minutes after landing can also help you feel more awake and alert.
3. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
Air travel is dehydrating for our skin and our lymphatic system. To help counter the effects of jetlag, start sipping extra water for a few days before you travel.
Aim to drink at least two litres of room temperature or warm water or herbal tea daily.
Hydration Inner Beauty Boost is a bio-fermented and coconut-infused probiotic that can be taken as a daily-shot of extra nutritional support to help combat dry skin, fine lines, free radical damage, improve circulation and gut health. It also tastes like a holiday and will help give your skin that vacation glow before you leave.
On the day of your flight, make sure you hydrate well. Once you clear customs, buy a couple of big bottles of water to take on the flight.
During your flight, sip your water regularly. And don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendants for more water if you need it. If sipping water doesn’t come naturally, pack a lemon and herbal tea sachets to make it taste more interesting.
Finally, avoid known dehydrators coffee, tea and alcohol for at least 24 hours before you fly and in-flight. And remember it is never a good idea to fly with a hangover.
4. Eat well
Eating unfamiliar and unhealthy food in transit at the airport and on the plane can lead to constipation. Pack a nourishing salad that includes leafy greens, foods rich in soluble fibre, healthy fats and protein instead.
Pre-prepare your in-flight snacks. Veggie sticks and hummus or avocado and seed crackers, nuts, trail mixes and GLOW Bliss Balls or GLOW Raw Energy Bars made using GLOW Advanced Inner Beauty Powder are all healthy and delicious.
Consuming antioxidant rich foods and supplements like GLOW Inner Beauty Powder or Antioxidant Inner Beauty Boost help to reduce free radical activity that is exacerbated when flying.
Choose foods that support gut health. Remember 70% of your immune system is in your gut, so by supporting digestive health, you help reduce the chance of catching a bug that may be circulating in the cabin. Probiotic foods such as GLOW Inner Beauty Powder help support both digestive health and skin health, which can be compromised when flying.
Be judicious with plane food, which may contain added sugar and preservatives. Eat only when you are hungry and remind yourself that, sitting for long periods reduce your energy requirements.
Booking accommodation with a kitchenette or close to places that serve nourishing whole foods is another good way to help you recover from your flight faster.
5. Keep moving
Some people happily perform sun salutations, headstands and back-bends for their fellow passengers in the boarding lounge.
Alternatively, going for a long walk on the day of your departure is another good way to get your lymphatic system pumping and prepare you for the hours of sedentary sitting.
Try to walk as much as you can at the airport. Take the stairs, skip the moving walkways and wander around the duty-free area to keep moving before you have to sit down.
On the flight, flex your ankles, do neck rolls and shrug your shoulders often. And try to walk up and down the aisles as often as you can to improve blood circulation and help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
6. Stay calm & get some rest
While work deadlines can make the week before you depart seem stressful, it’s important to stay calm and get plenty of sleep.
Feeling stressed triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, which can slow our digestion and lower immune function.
Sleep deprivation can also lower our immunity and make us more susceptible to catching a cold. So becoming stressed or sleep deprived is not wise before boarding a plane and breathing in recycled air from fellow passengers.
7. Pack well
There is an art to packing for healthy travel. If you are a nervous flier, download some meditations and soothing music for the flight.
Invest in some noise-cancelling headphones (or ear plugs), a neck pillow and an eye mask. And take a shawl to keep your neck and shoulders warm.
Wiping the armrests on your seat and tray tables with natural antibacterial wipes will remove some of the bad bacteria that lurk on surfaces.
Soft, thick socks can help you feel more comfortable and less cramped. Likewise, pack some loose pants for mid-flight.
Free radical activity is exacerbated when flying and this can wreak havoc on your skin, especially post flight. Dream Repair Cellular Serum offers a high level of antioxidant protection, combating free radicals as well as infusing collagen-boosting ingredients into the skin. And give a little extra moisture to your lips as well as the delicate skin around your eyes with the Beauty Fix Balm.
A basic muslin cloth dampened with water during the flight helps to cleanse and refresh your face. Follow by applying a little Probiotic Skin Refiner on a cotton pad to wipe away dead cells, balance and refine your complexion and restore hydration.
Do you have any tips you’ve discovered to help combat jetlag? We’d love to hear them!