Want to hack on Jet Lag with cutting edge practices?
Keep reading to learn how to overcome jet lag like a pro!
I don’t need to tell you just how shitty it seems to arrive in your destination tired, foggy, and unable to sleep for the first several days. No one wants to eliminate time on their holiday, feel unproductive at work, or become ill.
In the next guide, I’ve summarised things I will recommend from my expertise. You do not need to go as mad as I do, but I want every advantage I could get versus jet lag.
Please consult a physician, particularly if you’ve got pre-existing health conditions, before applying any of the next.
Flight Selection: Ask yourself,” Which of these flights will have the least detrimental impact on my body?” For me, this means not accepting overnight trips rather than waking up too early.
Sleep is our ultimate recovery tool. Waking up earlier than usual usually means less sleep the night before a trip. Do not place yourself at this disadvantage. I cringe hearing travellers say the pulled an all-nighter or proceeded the night before their trip.
Red-eye flights mean crappy sleep quality on the plane. I prefer to reserve day-time flights and push myself to keep up so I can fall asleep easily when it is bedtime in my arrival city.
When reserving a flight, pay attention to what type of plane you’re going to be flying. If you can hop on the 787 Dreamliner, or Airbus A350 do it. The Dreamliner is pressurised in a lower altitude and has a better filtration system, allowing the air to remain more humid. It’s a quieter plane and a better overall experience.
Airline Selection: The website Skytrax is a lifesaver. Make sure to fly a decent airline and also read the reviews about your particular route.
I’m composing this on Japan Airlines in Economy to Tokyo. Before I booked, I browse JAL was a five-star airline and that Economy course on JAL is better than most American carriers’ Premium Economy class.
Seat Selection: If you can afford lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, consider it for long-haul flights if you’ll need to sleep. Many Asian airlines have impressive Premium Economy options with nice footrests and ample seats.
Check SeatGuru reviews of your exact seat on the plane. If you want to stay up and move a lot, pick the aisle seat. If you like to sleep and prefer not to be disturbed, pick a window seat. If you sleep on your right side, choose the aisle seat on the right side of the plane. Most pro travellers will bring a neck pillow, earplugs, and a sleep mask.
Fasting: I might not be accessible after this section, but I’m going to recommend using a lot of self-control. I highly recommend not eating. Yep, that’s right…fasting.
Fasting is also an excellent way for your body to clean itself in a cancer-fighting process called autophagy.
What to eat / What to avoid: If you are going to eat–be disciplined! Think Whole30 but just for the day… no sugar, no simple carbohydrates, no alcohol, no dairy, etc.. I try to eat clean the day before and after travel to aid recovery.
Aeroplane food usually is carbarevy and filled with low-quality salt. I’m fast testing, but my bag is full of healthy snacks like Bulletproof bars, organic jerky, and macadamia nuts.
P.S… JAL is passing out Hagen Das right now… remember, sugar is possibly the worst thing in the world for your immune system!
When to eat: First things first, set your clock to the time zone where you will land and never look back. Avoid reminding yourself, “it is two’m back home.” That’s not going to help. Jet lag can be a psychological war!
Now, here is arguably the essential part of hacking jet lag.
This is not your average dinner time. Wake up and treat yourself to a fantastic breakfast at the time you’d typically eat. This is your body’s key signal that it’s time to wake up. Do not skip this step!
How much: Dehydration is your biggest enemy on planes. That aisle seat comes in handy… Frequent bathroom breaks get the blood flowing! Be careful, however, not to pee out all your minerals. Add Trace Minerals or Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to your water to re-mineralise. This is a critical point.
Pre-hydrate: Work on hydrating with perfect quality water the day before your trip. No booze! I always try to drink a full litre of water before I go through the TSA checkpoint.
What kind of water: Once I get through security, I load up on water like a camel. It wasn’t cheap, but I bought 2 litres of the highest quality, mineral-rich spring water available. San Pellegrino in glass (not plastic), Perrier, Fiji, Smartwater, or anything from Iceland are my favourites.
Easy on the tea and coffee–it’s dehydrating. Plus, it’s probably made with chlorinated tap water that can be further evaporating.
Air squats, calf raises, toe touches and arm circles… let’s go! Embarrassed? Do them in the bathroom. Get your blood moving as often as possible. Walk around to keep the lymph moving.
The lymphatic system is one of your body’s main detoxification pathways. Moving will help you avoid cancels or worse yet, a blood clot. If you end up with cankles or the feet of a pregnant woman, put your legs up the wall when you arrive at your destination. A lymphatic massage or compression pants and socks will also combat this.
Workout: Once you get to your destination, workout at the time, your body is accustomed to exercising. Workout hard, but don’t overdo it. Break a sweat, get your heart rate up, and then call it quits. A good hotel room workout will suffice…. 15 minutes, as many rounds as possible, lunges, pushups, situps, planks, etc..
Okay, do what you can here… Your objective is to get your body the light it needs to reset your circadian rhythm. The sun tells us to wake up and go to sleep. In the morning, get outside in as little clothing as possible. Don’t stare at the sun, but get sun in your the suns to signal to your body it is daytime. No sunglasses allowed.
Block the Blue Lights: On the plane, be careful to dim the television in the seatback in front of you and put your phone, tablet, and computer in night mode. You can filter the blue lights on your computer with programs like f.luxor Iris.
Blue lights tell your body it’s noon on a summer day and inhibit the production of melatonin–the sleep hormone. Get stylish and wear blue-blocking glasses, a hat and hood to shield yourself from the fluorescent lights and hundreds of tv screens around you.
Sleeping pills: I know, I know… it’d be so much easier to take a sleeping pill and be done with this article. Unfortunately, sleeping pills knock you unto knockouts and don’t give you natural sleep cycles that are so important for recovery. Consuming alcohol to induce sleep also ruins REM sleep.
Sleeping on a plane: Get ready to build your nest: Pillow, blanket, eye mask, earplugs, or Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. Don’t hesitate to be weird. If you’ve read this far, you already know I am! Maybe go for the blanket over the head technique or head down on the tray table strategy.
Nap on Arrival: Even if you are exhausted after your flight, fight the urge to nap. It’s much better to stay awake and then sleep once its bedtime. There is a good chance you won’t be able to wake up from your nap and then you’ll never be able to sleep at night!
If you can’t sleep–meditate. Do what you can to relax and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. If you are a nervous flier, this will help!
Now we are getting advanced, so consult with your doctor. I’ll tell you my strategy, and you can take it or leave it.
My focus is to keep my immune system healthy and fight free radical damage. Flying is hard on your body–supplements can mitigate the wear and tear.
- Vitamin C–you are flying in a tube full of foreign germs and recycled air. You can take 500 mg of Vitamin C a few times per day to support your immune system.
- Vitamin D–I know you try to get some sun on your trip, but if it’s wintertime you are probably already deficient! Vitamin D is critical to immune function.
- Fish oil or Krill oil–you’ll want a big dose of DHA and EPA omega-three fatty acids. Buy the highest quality possible. CVS or Walmart fish oil is most likely already spoiled! You can go vegan with algae oil.
- Spirulina–this little algae is exceptionally nutrient-dense and an excellent anti-oxidant. I take it to boost my immune system and support stem cell production.
- Glutathione–This is one of my favourites. It’s a potent antioxidant that is produced by your body. Essential for immune support and detoxification.
- Hydrogen Water–the most cutting-edge anti-oxidant on the list. The Japanese have been using it for years, and there are over 1,000 studies on its effects. It’s just now becoming more popular in the United States.
- Magnesium–it’s an essential mineral that we don’t get enough of in our diets. It helps us feel calm and aids our sleep. Plus it protects against radiation. Wifi on planes and cosmic radiation are going to make you feel like shit.
- Melatonin–your body naturally produces this hormone to tell your body when to go to sleep. Most supplements have several times what your body naturally produces, but that might be necessary if your body needs a hard reset. I break a 1mg pill int1-garters and sleep like a baby. You might need more.
Advanced techniques when you land… try a couple!
- Grounding or earthing–some people think this is hippie science, but many doctors recommend it. Walk outside with our feet on the bare ground for at least twenty minutes to reset your biological clock. Get in the sun or ocean and feel even better.
- Breathing–any yogic breathing is going to help re-oxygenate your body. Flying in pressurised cabins has a similar effect to the one that altitude sickness has on the body. Take lots of deep breaths. Dr Sachin Panda recommends using a nasal turbine or a breathe-right strip like a football player to allow your body to take in more oxygen.
- Cold therapy–cold baths or cryotherapy have tons of benefits from immune support, to energy boosts, to helping fight lethargy or depression. The cold treatment has similar effects on the body as exercise with none of that pesky running around stuff.
- Flotation tanks–sensory deprivation tanks are one of my favourite recovery methods. If you want to put your body into”recovery and rest mode” then try one out. The magnesium-rich salt is excellent for your skin too.
Infrared saunas–another way to get the hormetic effects of exercise merely sitting there. They’re excellent for detoxification and sweating it out. When I land in Bangkok, I’ll go to the Pañpuri Onsen Spa, to get a combination of hot and cold therapy with their mineral-rich Onsen baths.
- The Human Charger–in case you can not do without gadgets, then give this one a shot. Shine a portable blue light within your ears to tell your body it’s time to wake up. I’m not sure about its efficacy, but I’ve always felt great, piled on the rest of the biohacks listed.
By now you probably think I’m possibly a lunatic or orthorexic. But here’s the deal–most of this stuff has a great deal of upside and tiny drawback. Again, check with your doctor, particularly if you are going to use supplements or recovery techniques longterm. I do not take anti-oxidants or do these things every day.
Do what is ideal for your body. Ageing, jet lag, and exhaustion do not have only one cause, and what works for me may not work for you. It is your job to explore your resiliency. Take the best possible care of yourself whether you want to recover quickly.
If you asked me my Top 5 Quick & Dirty jet lag tips, I’d say…
1. Stay hydrated
2. Eat to tell your body what time it’s
3. Eat keto and avoidtoar, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates
4. Get full sun exposure to wake up your body
5. Try melatonin
You might want to read about Can Travelling make you Happy?