Imagine stepping off the plane in Kathmandu after making the 20-hour journey from New York City. Your body thinks it’s 2:00 AM, but in Nepal, it’s almost noon. This jet lag is like nothing you’ve ever experienced, and you can’t even think straight. Is there a magical jet lag cure at your disposal? We wouldn’t call them magical, but here are some time-tested remedies to shake off that dreaded jet lag.
1. Take melatonin to help reset your internal clock. Melatonin helps regulate sleep. You can use small doses of melatonin to help your body shift its inner rhythms. Try taking a dose after dark on the first few days after you arrive.
2. Soak up some sunshine. Sunlight is an effective jet lag cure because it’s a powerful way to adjust your circadian rhythms naturally. If you traveled west, get out in the morning light and try to avoid afternoon sun; and if you traveled east, do the reverse. If you’re up at the crack of dawn, make the most of it! Skipping the urge to nap will help you reset quicker.
3. Eat lighter meals. Nutritionists recommend eating smaller meals that include protein, complex carbs, fruits, and vegetables to combat jet lag. That way, your energy levels will stay steady, instead of rising and crashing. Also be sure to stay hydrated. Drinks such as caffeine and alcohol may make jet lag symptoms worse. Drinking lots of water, juice or herbal tea can help your body recover faster.
4. Strike a pose and embrace yoga. Reclaiming control of your mind and body by incorporating yoga into your daily routine during your adventures can be key to warding off jet lag. Being cramped in a tiny airplane seat can cause your muscles to be tighter than usual. Try some simple yoga poses and deep breathing techniques to re-center your energy after a long flight.