How to avoid jetlag

Travelling into a new timezone means one thing for most of people: A jetlag is included. Due to the time difference the biorhythm is confused. During the day you’re tired, at night you’re wide awake – the body needs a few days to adapt to the new day and night times. Is it possible to reduce or even avoid jetlag? Yes! I have two valuable tips for you.

1. Adapt to the new timezone once you’re on the plane

Once I get on the plane I try to adapt my sleeping hours to the timezone of destination. Therefore I only sleep when it’s nighttime at the destination. That advice might sound very basic, but some people aren’t aware of it.

  • Departure in Germany at 2 pm. Layover in Kuwait 9:30 pm. Arrival in Bangkok 10 am. You better sleep on the second flight.
  • Departure in Germany at 11 am. Arrival Panama City 8 pm. I wouldn’t sleep on this flight at all – maybe a power nap but that’s about it. Try to stay awake and go to sleep once you arrived.

What if you can’t sleep? Try using a sleeping mask! And put on the Spotify Sleep playlist. As my mum used to say: Even though you’re not sleeping, your inner battery will recharge with your eyes closed. Only slower.

2. Don’t take a long afternoon nap after arriving

Many travellers are taking a 2-3 hours nap after arriving at their destination. Falling asleep or sleep through the night gets subsequently more difficult. Therefore: Try to avoid sleeping in the afternoon. 10 – 15 mins powernaps are fine, for example in the car or on the train. But don’t go to bed or into a dark room. Otherwhise your body thinks it’s night and goes into deep sleep very quickly.

Be aware: The day and night rhythm of your body is regulated by the pineal gland producing Melatonin. When it’s night your body produces Melatonin, which makes you tired. Is it day the production of Melatonin is stopped – you wake up.

For me it always helped to stay awake as long as possible once I arrived at a new place. The reward: A good night sleep.  

I hope these two tips could save you from suffering for the first few days in a new timezone. If you know any more, let me know in the comments!

Wanderlust? This was my route for three weeks in Cambodia. Alone, but together with your backpack.

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