How I Beat Jet-lag With These 5 Easy Hacks
Jetlag. It’s the less glamorous side of my job that people don’t see – the constant transit from airport to hotel to club and back again. Being a DJ involves a hell of a lot of travel and a major case of sleep deprivation. Some nights I fly into a city at 8 P.M., gig from 1 - 3A.M. then freshen up quickly before a 7 A.M. flight back home. And that’s just a domestic taste tester!
Don’t get me wrong – I am fully aware of just how lucky I am to work in this industry, and by no means do I mean to turn this into a whinge fest. My job is incredible. I get the freedom to run my own business, it allows me to travel the world and meet the most amazing people, all the while doing something I love. It is important, however, to call out the shitty part of my line of work – and that is the constant jetlag and exhaustion. It’s hard work, though I think this is often lost on people who just see the glitz and glam of the music industry.
You know that feeling, it’s as though someone has slapped you in the face with fatigue. You fight to keep your eyes open, but they just won’t oblige. All you can think of is your warm, cosy bed, but it’s time for lunch in this new destination – helllllo jet lag! I wish I could say that it’s nice to meet you!
In the history of human development, sitting on a plane for a multitude of hours is a very strange thing to do. Couple that with crossing time zones and throwing your body clock from day to night - it’s really no wonder that jetlag is a problem. Problem or not, it’s also a reality of modern-day life, and the best we can do is learn to manage it.
Even after years of travelling, I am yet to find a way to fully avoid the effects of jetlag. I have however, learned to manage it in a way so that it doesn’t disrupt my life too badly. I have discovered the best trick to managing jetlag is to quickly and clearly give your body the information it needs about the new time zone. Below are my top hacks for beating jetlag:
Make sure you are thoroughly hydrated during your flight and on arrival in your new city. And by hydrate, I mean hydrate with water (and lots of it!). Stay away from alcohol on the plane – I know this is easier said than done!
2. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Control what you can. If you have the option, take the flight which arrives in the evening so you can land and get some sleep. It’s also important to time your meals on the flight. It’s actually best if you can fast on the plane, as plane food is notorious for its mystery additives and preservatives that will make you feel rough. If you do want to eat, eat according to your new time zone’s meal times.
3. RID YOUR BODY OF TOXINS
I’ve pulled together a little routine to rid my body of toxins when I arrive at a new destination. A cold shower in the morning kick-starts this process and is super effective at waking your body up. I then head out and work up a sweat – it tends to be fairly gently exercise as I normally feel pretty shattered, but getting the endorphins up and running is a key part of adjusting your body. I love to end my detoxifying routine with a nice long sauna or hot yoga session to sweat it all out.
4. MANIPULATE YOUR LIGHT EXPOSURE
Light exposure is key. Basically, you need to manipulate your body and trick it into accepting the new time zone. Controlling your light exposure is vital to this – optimise the morning sunlight and give your body plenty of daylight upon arrival to help your body know what time it is. And of course it goes without saying, don’t give yourself access to blue light before bedtime – it reduces your melatonin levels and hampers your ability to sleep.
5. OIL UP
As you all know, I am obsessed with essential oils and I use them for absolutely everything. Need a face toner, antibacterial solution, bug spray or laundry detergent? Trust me, my oils have you covered! Essential oils are a vital part of my travel routine. When I’m wanting to go to sleep, I use Lavender and RutaVala. On the other hand, when I need to energise I reach for my Peppermint and Lemon. It really is quite incredible how you can use natural plant extracts to help your body adapt to new time zones. If you would like to learn more about essential oils and how they can be used, shoot me a message or check out my website, Your Essentials to Thrive.
The bottom line is to leave home well-rested and have a plan in place to minimise your jetlag symptoms. Incorporate my easy hacks to manipulate your body into adjusting quickly to the new time zone, and give yourself the best chance of optimising your time abroad from the minute you land.