My Secret Jet Lag Cure + 13 More Helpful Tips To Recover From A Flight

If you’ve never experienced jet lag before, then you’re in for a rough time. It’s a Twilight Zone place of mental and bodily confusion and there is no one adequate jet lag cure that fixes every person.

You’re waking up when you should be sleeping, and nodding off mid-conversation to your boss at work.

And this is six days after you touched down.

caz and girls sitting on chairs looking at palace in luxembourg gardens
We were so jetlagged in Paris

If you’ve just landed after a long-haul flight and you constantly feel wired and on edge, your words get confused and you cannot see properly, let alone think through the fog, then this guide is for you.

In this guide, I’ve shared my cure for jet lag that works, every time! Plus, I’ve shared some other helpful tips for getting over jet lag.

Go take a look!

Planning to travel soon? Let us help you know what to do and when. Our pre-departure checklists will arrive in your inbox at the right stage of the travel planning journey and tell you what to take care of. They’re free!

What is jet lag and how do you get it?

caz flying in a helicopter with friends
No jet lag from a helicopter. Just a fun photo to use

But first, in order to get over jet lag, you must first discover if what you are feeling actually is jet lag and not some bug you’ve picked up on your vacation.

Jet lag can be defined as an extreme tiredness and fatigue and presents other physical effects, like memory lapses.

Jet lag is felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones, which disrupts the body’s 24 hour rhythm.

The combination of lack of oxygen, high altitude, and lack of movement, also increases your chance of getting jet lag.

sleeping in planes

Essentially, traveling disrupts your body clock. It effects not only your body temperature but also your hormones, so some people may feel low mood and irritability or mood swings when they are jet lagged too.

Other symptoms of jet lag are headaches, insomnia, low concentration, lack of concentration, nausea, anxiety, lack of appetite, and even an upset stomach such as constipation or diarrhea.

It can take a few days to a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new time zone when flying. This can make things difficult if you are bouncing from time zone to time zone in a short period of time.

If you are flying long distances, and multiple flights over a short period of time, jet lag can destroy you and you’ll need a jet lag cure that works!

When is jet lag worse?

Waianapanapa (black sand beach) on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii
Waianapanapa (black sand beach)

I find the jet lag hits me worse traveling East. I always get slammed flying from Australia to America and from the UK home to Oz.

From my research, this is actually fact, because traveling eastward runs in the opposite direction to the body clock.

We also always get hit with jet lag flying from Raleigh to Europe as well, but I think this is mostly because we catch the red eye flight, which is only 6 hours, so not enough flying time to have a decent sleep. It’s more extreme tiredness that jet lag and usually disappears after your first good night sleep in the destination.

My secret jet lag cure

Punaluu Beach (Black Sand Beach) on the Big Island of Hawaii
Punaluu Beach (Black Sand Beach)

This strategy is FREE, in huge abundance, and is so simple it will BLOW your mind.

Are you ready?

Earth Yourself

Mom and daughter reading books at the beach

Yes, it’s as simple as that, just touch the ground like an electric wire trying to find a place to send its current.

As soon as you can after your flight arrival, kick off your shoes and put your bare feet on the ground (grass, dirt or sand) for at least 30 minutes.

No I am not crazy, why would I be? Your body is like a battery, and my grounding yourself, you are realigning your electrical energy by touching the Earth.

The earth provides everything with life and works perfectly, why would it not help to cure our imbalances, especially jet lag?

How does earthing work?

caz sitting on black sand beach lost coast road trip (1)

I am earthing every day: simply connecting my bare skin to the bare earth. It’s fabulous and my health is dramatically improving.

As travelers, I am sure you are well aware of how great it feels when you connect to the earth. I know as a traveler I spend days if not weeks in constant earthly contact.

Remember when we were kids how barefoot was the norm? And think of the indigenous culture – no shoes there. They always relied on the earth to heal them.

In simplest terms, the earth holds tons of negative electrons and when we connect with our bare skin (most notably the feet) they buzz on up inside of us and overpower all the positive electrons (the bad stuff) that is wreaking havoc on our body causing inflammation, imbalance and general all round wackiness.

And jet lag is an all round wackiness.

Think of the Earth as the world’s biggest anti-inflammatory. And inflammation is responsible for a vast majority of the world’s illnesses.

craig lying on ground
sleep while you earth

As a flier, you spend a lot of time off the ground and in the further reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere.

You don’t get the benefits of the healing negative electrons and as you move through the atmosphere you lose connection with the Earth’s frequency.

An experiment by the California Institute of Human Sciences demonstrated that the human body checks for its reference to the Earth every ninety seconds so you can see how confused your body gets on a long haul flight.

All you gotta do is step outside and touch the earth. You’ll feel the jet lag melt away while you effortlessly settle into your new time zone without giving any long-term vegetarians chicken.

“This phenomenon is best explained by the body sensing different frequencies from the electrons of the Earth and receiving “Local cues” from these vibrating electrons as the the time of day. Further research is needed to prove this effect, but anecdotal evidences accumulated over the years are strong enough for this effect to receive a mention”

According to the book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra and Martin Zucker

It doesn’t hurt to try this secret jet lag cure right? Whaddaya got to lose?

You can read about earthing here where I am sharing my earthing project. 

Helpful Tips for Getting Over Jet Lag

plane in an airport

If you want more help, just in case, then follow our tips for overcoming jet lag below.

1. Have enough sleep before you leave for your flight

Sleep deficit will make jet lag worse.

2. Drink warm water

The lovely JJ from 84th and 3rd shared this tip with me recently. It’s no secret that you feel better when you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, but did you know the temperature can have an effect too?

Drink warm water for the duration of the flight. This is so your body doesn’t have to exert energy warming it up.

It is an Ayurvedic technique.

You know that ancient Indian philosophy that created meditation and yoga. I feel as if they know their stuff! (They also did the whole bare foot thing).

3. Nap during the flight

Flying to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines
Kalyra snug and comfy on a flight

Take short little naps on the flight when you feel sleepy. It will help build those reserves.

If you can sleep for longer make it so that you sleep during your usual sleep schedule of your arrival time zone.

For early morning arrivals, ensure you get some sleep on the plane to help you to stay awake until night time.

If you are arriving at night, avoid sleeping much during the flight.

Be sure to pack earplugs, travel pillow, and an eye mask so you can get comfortable on the plane.

Hot Tip: As soon as you board your plane set your phone to the new time zone and play to that.

4. Eat small meals frequently

Make sure you are filling your body with lots of healthy food: fruit and vegetables. Avoid sugar as much as you can.

5. Get up and walk

A great prevention for fatigue is to stay active. If you have a long flight, particularly the grueling 24-hour travel days from West to East, get up and move around regularly.

Walking around the cabin and stretching will get your blood flowing. It’s great for so many reasons.

6. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before a flight

It’s not the sleep imbibing drug we all think it is. Alcohol will keep you awake and when you combine it with the jet lag haze it can get nasty.

Caffeine just messes with your internal clock on a normal day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before your flight and on the day of your arrival too.

If you are still experiencing jet lag after a few days, then you may want to introduce caffeine back into your diet in small doses.

7. Expose yourself to daylight

When you arrive at your destination get out in the sun (may struggle if in England). The sunlight will wake you up into the new time zone.

8. Do not sleep at the wrong time

girls sitting on a plane
Watch movies and stay awake

No matter how tired you are when you arrive in your new time zone, you gotta put those match sticks in and stay awake.

Daytime sleepiness is one of the hardest jet lag symptoms to battle with, but try your best to wait until it is bed time.

It’s okay to hit the hay as soon as the sun goes down, but it is best you wait till then. Help your body get used to the new time zone ASAP.

Be sure to plan for gentle activities upon arrival in your destination though. Unfortunately traveling from the East Coast of the USA to Paris or London, you only have red eye flights available. You arrive early morning their time. It’s quite a struggle to stay awake until their evening, but it works out better.

On those days we go for easy walks, hang out in parks, and do simple activities like river sightseeing cruises. And we make sure we’re in bed by 9pm, if not earlier.

9. Travel in a westerly route

We learned that travel from West to East affects your circadian rhythm, so if possible, try to fly from East to West.

For example, if you’re flying from Asia to New York City, have a stop over in Europe instead.

If you are flying westward, try to go to sleep as late as possible for two to three days before you leave.

And earth as much as you can. The simplest jet lag cure there is!

10. Fly business class

woman sitting in a seat
Business class always helps!

I’m adding this tip in long after I’ve finally had the experience of flying business class, and while it’s not a luxury everyone can afford, if you can you absolutely should.

On my visit to Downtown LA for the BlogHer conference, I flew business class on QANTAS.

Jet lag was practically not an issue for me at all and usually flying to LA, it’s awful.

I didn’t even sleep on the plane, but just having the space to stretch out, lie down and rest made a massive difference in my recovery.

What a great jet lag cure! If only we could afford business class all the time.

11. Try melatonin supplements

Melatonin is the hormone your body produces when you want to go to sleep.

If you’re sleep-wake cycle is out of whack, then you can use sleep aids like melatonin to help you fall asleep.

It’s important not to take more than 5 mg of melatonin though, as it can make you feel really groggy when you wake up.

While this works for some people, I advise trying the other tips in this guide before doing this.

12. Give light therapy a go

Another great way to fix your body’s internal clock and set it to its proper timing is by light exposure.

Light therapy involves exposing yourself to a bright light that mimics the morning light.

When you want to be awake, use the artificial light for the time you want to be awake, and turn it off when it’s bedtime.

You can use a light box, light ring, or even a desk lamp. It doesn’t really matter what type of light you use.

Apart from earthing, when we return home, we have a couple of infra red light therapy sessions, which works wonders for helping your body adjust, relax and heal.

13. Use the Timeshifter app

If you’re waking up in a different time zone and need help adjusting to the time different, the Timeshifter App is a great tool.

The app has been designed to help you with alertness and get better quality of sleep, and has been specifically designed to treat jet lag.

It gives you recommendations for when to have coffee, when to take medicines, when to try light therapy and how to apply sleeping shifts.

More Flying Tips

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Do you have a secret jet lag cure? What is your best tip for getting over jet lag? Let us know in the comments.

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