Some of us are all too familiar with that feeling that creeps up after a long flight or red-eye. It’s a phenomenon that we know and hate … and it’s called jet lag. Some may even say that jet lag and hangovers are basically best friends because of how unpleasant they are. And like a hangover, jet lag can be prevented and cured naturally—so toss the Advil and fifth cup of coffee and read the below for seven all-natural ways to help reduce jet lag.
Jet lag occurs because traveling usually throws off our circadian rhythm, which is the biological clock that helps control when we wake up and fall asleep. When we’re in the air and crossing different time zones, it disrupts our natural rhythm and forces our bodies to do extra work to catch up. One thing people usually do in this case is fill their bodies with caffeine so that they have the “fuel” to keep going, but this is actually making it more difficult for your body and confusing your circadian rhythm even more. I recommend sticking to decaffeinated tea, which will not only help soothe your body, but will also ensure that you’re staying hydrated. Once you’ve landed, figure out the time difference and only drink coffee when you normally would at home. This will really help your body stay balanced.
You may have heard the word “adaptogen” a couple of times by now ever since it became a little more mainstream and trendy, but this word is certainly not new. Adaptogens are herbs that have been used in ancient Chinese medicine to help stabilize the nervous system. They’re known to help ease stress, and certain blends are also known to help aid with sleep. I’ve found that certain adaptogens, like ashwagandha, have a powerful effect on me and help to soothe my body, allowing me to have a much deeper sleep. I recommend taking a pack or two of the Moon Juice Dream Dust Sachets with you for the flight and during your travel. The ingredients are so clean and promote a deep, restful sleep. One important note—definitely let your doctor know before taking adaptogens. They are quite powerful, so it’s good to let your healthcare provider know in case it interacts with anything else you’re taking (especially for anyone with endocrine or hormonal irregularities).
3. No-Jet-Lag Homeopathic Remedy
These chewable tablets are game-changers when it comes to naturally relieving jet lag. I get mine on Amazon from Miers Labs. I’m always skeptical of pills, but these tablets are made with just five active all-natural ingredients, including wild chamomile, leopard’s bane, daisy, ipecac, and clubmoss, so they’re super clean and safe. This homeopathic remedy will help to alleviate jet lag symptoms that affect body temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, and physiological patterns. Just chew one tablet before your plane takes off and one right when you land (if you’re flying a long distance, take one every two hours) and you will honestly see and feel how effective these are.
4. Consider Melatonin Supplements
Our bodies naturally secrete a hormone called melatonin (which regulates our sleep cycle), but if you have an extra-tough time sleeping on flights or sleeping in new locations, there’s the option to take an all-natural melatonin supplement. To be blunt: not enough research has been done to effectively conclude that melatonin supplements will absolutely aid your sleep cycle and reduce your jet lag, but many people swear by it, and it is a much more natural alternative to medication like Ambien or Xanax.
5. Lavender Essential Oil
Essential oils, in general, are known for boasting incredibly powerful benefits and are often used in a holistic healing treatment called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to enhance both your physical and emotional health. There are so many scents that can be used to target certain things, but the scent of lavender, in particular, is known for its calming properties. While studies haven’t explored the use of lavender oil for jet lag, there is existing preliminary research that suggests that the lavender aroma may improve sleep quality. Personally, I like to carry a little roll-on tube of lavender oil and put some on the back of my neck and shoulders during a long flight. It helps calm and relax my body, and I notice that I sleep better when I do little things like that.
6. Green Juice for Energy
The best all-natural way to beat jet lag is to fuel and nourish your body with the proper foods. I promise you—if you go straight from your flight to a business meeting on just coffee and a donut, you will feel much more weighed down and groggy than if you fuel your body with something clean and nutrient-dense like a green juice or smoothie. I highly recommend grabbing a green juice filled with greens like spinach, kale, spirulina, cucumber, celery, mint, parsley, and whatever else you can get! You will feel an almost instant boost in your energy after drinking something that’s filled with so many nutrients (it takes a LOT of produce to make one juice, so you’re really tripling down on vitamins here) and it will help reduce that run-down, jet-lagged feeling.
Movement is such a simple yet crucial way to combat jet lag. Getting up to walk around or stretch during a flight can really help improve your blood flow. It’s so important to make sure you’re focusing on your blood circulation because that’s how oxygen is supplied to the brain and your other vital organs. It’s ultimately what makes our bodies work, so if you’re sitting for the entire flight and then you try to hit the ground running, you’re forcing your body to work double time. I recommend getting up every 30-60 minutes in-flight to stand up, stretch, and walk around a little so that your body isn’t in shock or pain when you arrive at your destination. All of these little things really add up and can make your jet lag that much worse. Paying attention to things like this is really going to help reduce your post-flight discomfort.