There is nothing worse than arriving overseas and finding your internal clock is completely off! No worries, there are some easy tricks to beating jet lag:
- First, HYDRATE! Make sure you drink plenty of water before you fly, and continue hydrating while inflight.
- Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake before and during your flight.
- Throw yourself into your new time zone! For example, when flying to Italy sleep as much as you can on the flight because it’s nighttime in Italy. Once you arrive, DON’T SLEEP UNTIL THAT NIGHT, not even a nap! Yes it’s tiring, but one day of exhaustion is better than ten! You will sleep like a baby that first night and awake on Italian time.
- To avoid feeling tired, keep moving—see some sites, investigate your neighborhood, just don’t stop!
- Eat meals according to your new time zone. Most overnight flights to Europe will serve breakfast just before landing (because it's morning where you're landing)--embrace it! Even if you aren't hungry eat and continuing eating on local time.
- Once you arrive, try to eat healthy protein-rich foods that will give you sustained energy. Too many carbohydrates and sugars will only cause you to crash harder!
- And finally, set your watch on your destination's time as soon as you board the plane and try to avoid figuring out what time it is back home--this will just remind your body it has a reason to be tired!
I promise if you follow these tips you will be jet lag free in Italy (or wherever your travels take you)!
One final note on flying, pressurized cabins can have odd effects on your gastro-intestinal system. Avoid gas producing foods pre-flight, such as apples, apricots, beans, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (even milk if you’re lactose intolerant). And pack high fiber snacks in your carry-on, such as dried fruit, nuts and whole grain granola bars. Dehydration and lack of activity can also often result in post-flight constipation, even among those who never experience it at home. Not pleasant to talk about, but true! We once had a student who had to be rushed to the hospital because she had not gone for weeks and was too embarrassed to tell anyone. She ended up needing surgery... moral of the story, we need to talk about these things lol.