I just came home from a holiday. Now 30 hours of traveling and a 6 hour time difference usually results in a huge jet lag. The last time I travelled so far I spent 5 days in an agonizing haze: walking around constantly forgetting where I’m going, falling asleep as soon as I get in a comfortable position (of course only during the day, at night no position seemed comfortable and I’d end up kicking my pillows out of the bed and beating up my mattress), feeling slightly depressed because that holiday I planned so carefully is now over and has left a huge void in my life (multiply the feeling you get after you’ve just watched the last episode of your favorite tv show by 100 and you’ll know what I mean). Now this time I told myself it wouldn’t happen to me so I came up with a plan to beat it:
1) Try to sleep on the plane (I failed at this one)
2) Refresh yourself as soon as you get home: wash your face with cold water or take a shower but avoid taking a bath at any cause (baths will make you feel sleepy)
3) Don’t put on any clothes that could double as pyjamas: you can wear something comfortable but don’t make it too comfortable. I personally like to put on something nice, as if I was going somewhere, because it makes me feel a little more energetic.
4) Whatever you do, don’t take a nap: avoid beds, sofas or other cozy, soft, things around the house. If you decide to watch tv (which I don’t recommend), just use a chair.
5) Stay busy (but safe): I personally decided to write this blogpost in order to keep my mind, hands and eyes busy. I am really struggling here, I’m making nothing but spelling errors and I feel dizzy, lightheaded and the letters seem to move around the screen, but I need to do something to avoid me from dozing off. That being said I wouldn’t recommend bike rides, car driving, important meetings or cooking.
6) Don’t drink coffee: it might seem like a good idea but it isn’t. your body is already in a confused state, you don’t need to add caffeine, it will mess with your melatonin levels, and they are already a mess at this point.
7) Get enough sunlight during the day and block out as much light as possible during the night so your melatonin levels will adjust quicker
8) Put some lavender oil on your pillow at night and drink a herbal tea with chamomile, lemon balm and or valerian before going to bed.
9) Set your alarm in the morning: even when you wake up feeling tired and sleepy, don’t stay in bed until noon, force yourself to get up.
Make sure to tell me if you’ve got any more tips to prevent or overcome a jet lag.