How to Prevent Jet Lag (The Natural, The Technological, And The Unusual)

For frequent fliers and international travelers, the symptoms of jet lag are all too familiar. Disturbed sleep, daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and even stomach problems often plague those traveling across multiple time zones.

Whether flying by private jet or commercially, it is jet lag that most people want to avoid, and are looking for the best way to avoid or cure jet lag symptoms – in order to enjoy their trip once they’ve arrived at their destination.

To help, we’ve gathered all the different types of tips across the internet on how to avoid jet lag – as well as some very unique ways to get rid of it.

Natural Jet Lag Cures

What Is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a series of symptoms that occur when our internal “body clock” is disrupted. This body clock keeps us in tune with the pattern of the day, helping us not only sleep at night, but also affecting hunger, mood and blood pressure.

One of the main signals that help us to regulate this body clock is light, which helps us reset our internal clocks each day to match the sun. This is why, the majority of the tips to follow below, revolve around light and light products.

How To Naturally Prevent Jet Lag

If you’re looking to prevent jet lag, it’s best to begin before you even step on the plane. Better yet – start a few days before your trip.

First recommendation is to change your sleep routine. If you’ll be traveling west, start going to bed later a few days before travel and vice versa when traveling east.

Once you’re on the flight, there are a number of things you should do to combat the effects of jet lag.

Time Your Activities

Try to eat and sleep according to the local time of your destination. Turn your watch to meet the local time to help you adjust your mind-set during the flight. This will help your body clock adjust to the new time zone before you even land.

Wear Sunglasses

As discussed above, your body clock responds to your eyes detecting light. Wearing sunglasses to control your exposure to natural and artificial light can help you fool your body clock to a new routine.

Lighting on board can really make a difference. One of the most recent innovations on the market is Bombardier’s “sun system” on the Global 7500; the system adjusts the luminosity in the cabin according to the preferences of the passengers, who are able to choose between natural, relaxing, or dynamic lighting options.

Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration makes jet lag even worse. It’s recommended that you drink plenty of water during the flight, and avoid dehydrating drinks like caffeine and alcohol.

Get Comfortable

Use earplugs and an eye mask to help create the right conditions for sleep. If you’re on a long haul flight, consider renting a jet that has flat bed seat options, or even better, a bed.

Keep Active

When you’re not sleeping, try to take walks around the cabin and stretch regularly.

Jet Lag prevention tips

Once you arrive, it’s important to spend the first day outdoors. Exposure to daylight helps you adjust to the new time zone quicker – and being in natural light during different times in the day can help depending on how far you travelled. If you travelled west, try getting some morning light once you arrive, and avoid the afternoon sun to help shift your body clock backwards. The opposite advice is recommended if you travelled east.

Also, try to get a minimum of four hours of sleep during the local night. This will help train your body to operate on a 24-hour rhythm which is vital for adaption to a new time zone. If you’re having trouble getting more than four hours at night, take short naps to help you get the same amount of sleep you’d normally have in a 24-hour window.

Jet Lag Apps

Of course, in today’s mobile-age, there is an app for everything – including helping you avoid or cure jet lag. Here are some of the top ones we’ve found:

PrivateFly Jet Lag Apps

Jet Lag Rooster

A calculator that helps you adjust your sleep schedule to the new time zone before you travel. This app’s method is based on light exposure and melatonin.

Stop Jet Lag

This website claims to conquer jet lag, safely and effectively with Stop Jet Lag’s easy-to-follow, personal plan specific to you. Purchase a plan and you can conveniently use it on any of your platforms, including a free mobile app.

Entrain

This mathematician-built app simulates your body clock to compute optimal light exposure schedules based on your behavior while syncing to your new time zone.

Innovative (and Unusual) Jet Lag Products

Avoiding jet lag is such a common problem that it has even created an entire product industry around it.

Recently, Airbus announced its newest aircraft model will be equipped with innovative lights to help curb the effects of jet lag. Select A350s are equipped with LED lights that have 16.7 million different shades, making it easier to mock true sunlight and help passengers leave the plane refreshed.

Airbus Jet Lag Prevention Lights

Airbus’s cabin lights could prevent jet lag (Image: Airbus)

But if you’re not flying on this hi-tech plane, there are a few products you can invest in for jet lag avoidance on any aircraft:

The Human Charger

Inspired by the human brain as the central “mood” system and the body as the timekeeper, the Human Charger (the world’s first bright light headset) gives you UV-free, blue-enriched white light when you need it most (i.e. right when you land at your new destination)

Re-Timer Glasses

Invest in these hi-tech jetlag glasses in an attempt to avoid feeling jet lagged when traveling. Re-Timer uses light therapy to suppress your body’s melatonin production, in order to take control of when you sleep.

Cryotherapy Sessions

The latest, and possibly weirdest, trend for curing jet lag is cryotherapy. This whole-body treatment allows partakers to put their entire bodies into chambers that are as cold as -200 degree Fahrenheit, staying in there for up to three minutes!

The cryotherapy session claims to rejuvenate your entire body, helping it adjust better to the effects of jet lag. It also claims to increase energy, regulate sleep patterns and reduce stress – so it might be worth the cold.

How do you combat jet lag? What’s your favorite cure? Which of these would you give a try – and which wouldn’t you? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter – we’d love to hear more!