From the moment we head towards the airport, many of us feel as if we are inevitably going to fall victim to the jet lag—fatigue, nausea, headaches and insomnia—that follows after air travel. In the past, it’s true, there wasn’t much choice in the matter and jet lag was just part of it all. Now, after years and years of traveling experience there are steps that can be taken to ensure a speedy recovery from air travel.
1. First and foremost, stay hydrated. A large amount of the ill feelings associated with air travel can be attributed to dehydration which can cause headaches, muscle cramping, increased tiredness and lack of concentration.
Dehydration can result mainly because of the following reasons: water is more difficult to acquire while on the move and because of the low humidity on an airplane. Humans feel the most comfortable when the air has a decent amount of humidity, but on longer flights, cabin humidity can drop to as little as 1%.
You can prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water before, during and after the flight. Avoiding midflight soda’s and alcohol will help as well.
2. Another beneficial step consists of exercise. The best way to accomplish this is to have a rigorous preflight exercise so that you will be able to rest on the flight. During the flight be sure to get up and stretch or walk the isle occasionally; if you have to stop and change flights at any point, walk the terminal if at all possible. Lastly, once you land, try to go for a run outside or in a brightly lit gym in order to stimulate your muscles and your mind. Physical activity is always a great way to get past any achy or stiff muscles.
3. Quite possibly the most difficult stage in the recovery of air travel is getting back onto a normal sleeping schedule. You will be most effective in resetting your internal clock if you don’t ignore the fatigue.
Once you land after a long trip and you feel like its bed time but it’s only noon, you are likely to feel like taking a nap—don’t! Do everything you can to stay awake until it truly is bedtime. At this point, it’s wise to take caffeine if you land in the morning but stay away from it as evening nears.
If you are traveling throughout the night, or when it should be night for your time schedule, do your best to sleep on the plane. Darken your area, wear an eye mask and wear ear plugs. Sleeping on the flight during your normal resting time will help to keep your schedule normal so that when you land you will be able to carry on nearest to your regular routine as possible.
Air travel is going to be tiring regardless but a quick recovery is attainable by taking a few precautions. It would be wise to set aside a day or two for recovery simply because jet lag shouldn’t be disregarded – give yourself proper care and time to recover so that you can maximize your productivity post travel.
This guest blog was written by Freedom Travel, specializing in military travel and military lending for nearly 30 years. Freedom Travel offers a wide variety of military cruises and military flight options to military members and government personnel. With our fast and convenient travel financing, you can go now and pay later!