”Did you and Natalie suffer jet lag?” Thank you to everyone who asked how our whirlwind trip to San Jose went: very good, but very quick. Many of you asked if we suffered jet lag, which we did not. In fact, I’ve only ever experienced jet lag once in my 11+ years of international travel.
Now is that just a matter of luck? No! There are a series of activities that we do to safeguard against jet lag. That is has prompted me to write this article on the strategies that we use. FYI - She only had this much energy BEFORE the plane took off. Three quick comments.
First, I don’t know completely how or why some of these strategies work: specifically the “Horary Points” which are based on Acupuncture. I have never studied Acupuncture. So I share this information with you as a consumer, who just knows it works for him.
Second, there is a difference between being tired from traveling 20 hours and suffering jet lag. An example of true jet lag is when you can’t sleep at 2:00 am because it feels like 3:00 pm in the afternoon back home. If you travel as far as we do, you can still expect to be tired (no matter if you fly first class or economy).
The difference is simply that day will feel like a day, and night will feel like night. Third, I have no idea if these strategies will work for you also. They may not! Still, I believe they are worth considering as they’ve worked for me 96% of the time (23 of 24 international flights over 11 years). So without further ado, here are the strategies we use to reduce jet lag.
#1. Horary Points.
These are based on acupuncture points that you tap once every hour. I think of them this way. In acupuncture, there is difference meridian (energy) channels that are most active at different times of the day.
So what you do is you tap a certain spot that corresponds with a certain channel in the time where you currently are (Brisbane for 99% of you who will read this article) … but then you immediately tap to spot the corresponds with the channel for the time where you will be going.
I think of it like, “Hey you, wake up! This is where we’re going. We need to reset the internal body clock.” For the first half of your trip, you tap the spot ~20 times on your current time and then immediately tap the spot ~50 times on the time zone where you will be traveling.
Then for the second half of the trip only tap the sport ~50 times where you will be traveling. Repeat on both sides. If you miss a few spots because you were sleeping, that’s okay. Simply resume when you wake up. You can download the PDF that we’ve made for you to take on your next trip on the link below.
#2. Get up and Stretch.
Once an hour if you aren’t sleeping. Specifically, stretch your hands above your head so you feel it all the way into your lower back. Stretch your legs - hamstrings, and quads - so you feel it all the way into your lower back also. And walk around the cabin where you are able to.
#3. Drink water.
Approx 250mL per hour, which is about one glass worth. You will dehydrate on a plane, and the better you remain hydrated the better your energy will be. Likely, you will have to get up frequently to use the toilet. That’s fine because it gives you the opportunity to stretch (see strategy #2). Keep up this strategy when you arrive at your destination.
#4. Take electrolytes.
Aka some type of salt/magnesium supplement that you can often find at the airport terminal. This one varies for everyone, and you may not want to take any depending on certain health conditions. The reason I recommend electrolytes as a general guideline is because you need body salt to hang onto water … otherwise, you end up peeing it (all out and then some) over the course of your flight.
Now, if you do not get up to stretch and/or have known clotting disorders when on a plane, you probably want to think twice before employing this strategy. Still, it is an important one to consider if you are otherwise fit and healthy. Same as with the water, keep up this strategy when you arrive at your destination.
#5. Wear Blue-Light Blocking Glasses.
Natalie does this one the plane to block the blue-light of the cabin so that she can sleep (better). Let’s face it, sleep is a relative thing on a long flight. Still, any strategy you can employ that will allow you to get as much sleep as you can will be a good thing. And this is a good one to do not just on a plane, but in the hour before you go to bed at home also. Just a little walk along the beach.
#6. Get Outside in the Sun.
When you arrive at your destination, if possible, be outside in the fresh air getting as much exposure to sunlight as possible. Walk. And for best results walk barefoot on the grass or on a sandy beach (called Earthing). All of these strategies also work to “reset” your internal body clock to get used to the time zone where you are.
#7. Stay awake as long as you can.
You’re probably going to be in bed early the first few nights of your trip, which is normal. Remember, there is a difference between being tired and suffering jet lag. However, staying up as late as you can (700pm) will also help you to adjust to your new time zone quicker.
#8. Don’t look at your home time zone.
Natalie also finds this one really helps her. It is to completely ignore the time where you came from when you arrive at your destination. For me, part of it is likely my mindset that “I don’t get jet lag.”
So who knows, maybe all these strategies don’t do anything at all, and its all just a mental thing! However, in my personal and family experience using these strategies there is more to it than just “mind over matter.” I hope on your next long time - and I hope that you have one soon - that you might find these strategies valuable so that jet lag doesn’t take a chunk out of your time away. Safe travels!