8 Tips For Not Letting Jet Lag Destroy Your Spring Break
Nothing kills a good vacation like jet lag. And if you’re blessed enough to be going somewhere fun and in a different time zone, it can feel like jet lag is an unavoidable aspect of your travel experience.
But there are totally ways to get over it ASAP. We only have a week off for spring break, and then it’s back to power walking towards finals, so ain’t nobody got time for that. Here are some easy ways to avoid jet leg this spring break szn.
Go to sleep at an appropriate time for your new time zone.
I know, I spend every flight binge watching Parks and Recs and drinking margaritas, too. But instead of contributing further to the astronomical crash that is waiting for you on the other side of your flight, take an overnight flight and sleep through it. Blindfolds and earplugs are a big help here, but don’t sleep through a flight if you’ll be landing midday or prior to night time in your new time zone. Instead, keep yourself alert and awake, and save your nap for night time in your new time zone.
Be smart about caffeine.
Coffee/energy drinks will keep you awake when you don’t want to be — like all night in your new time zone. So avoid caffeine before or during your flight, especially if it’s an overnight flight, and let your body naturally adjust once you arrive. Save it for the morning in the timezone you’ve arrived in, in which case it can help your body get used to a new daytime cycle.
Avoid alcohol until you arrive.
I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but drinking alcohol on the flight will destroy you. Being dehydrated, hungover, and jet lagged is the most miserable time on vacation you will ever have. And I’ve been guilty of it too! Last flight I took, I spent the entire car ride to the airport chugging red wine, and it only got worse from there. So take it from someone who is just as pro-turn up, save the drinking for once you actually get there.
I mean, what else are you going to drink if alcohol and coffee are off the table? Water helps alleviate the symptoms of jet lag, and it’s just plain good for you, so if you were avoiding water already, at least stop the day of your flight.
READ MORE: 6 Cheap And Lit Spring Break Vacations
Know which direction you’re traveling.
You can start adjusting to your new time zone a few days before you leave, so knowing the direction your flight is traveling is key. If you’ll be traveling East, you should start waking up earlier and going to sleep earlier than you normally would. If you’re traveling West, the opposite is true, so go to bed later and wake up later. Health.com recommends starting four days before your trip.
Be selective about your exposure to sunlight.
Light helps our body know when it’s time to wake up. So controlling our exposure to sun can help us adjust to a new timezone. According to a study conducted by the Edinburgh Sleep Center for British Airways, wearing sunglasses during your flight will help you sleep through it and get over jet lag faster. Once you land, don’t take a nap, but rather use the sunlight to help you adjust to the new time zone. Only go to sleep if you arrive at nighttime in your new time zone.
Don’t take ZzzQuil or any of those sleep aids.
When I can’t sleep until 6am, ZzzQuil and other sleep aids have been my best friend. But those drugs can confuse your body clock and leave you feeling extra groggy when you do wake up, so they’re actually a terrible option. Avoid taking sleeping aids because the goal isn’t to knock yourself unconscious to get over jet lag, but to adjust.
Do take melatonin.
Melatonin is found naturally in the body and it helps regulate your sleep cycle. It’s what causes that sleepy feeling when it’s time to go to bed, making it unlike sleep aids. You can buy it at health food stores and Target! Take it at night in your new time zone to help your body adjust to going to bed at a new time.
Personally, I’m spending this spring break at home with my Netflix account, but for everyone who will be rocking out on spring break, you deserve to get over jet leg sooner rather than later. Do it for me and plan in advance to avoid major jet lag.