4 Tips for Beating Jet Lag

When the Jewish people were led out of Egypt on Pesach, they wandered for forty years in the desert before reaching their final destination. There were a lot of drawbacks of traveling that way – it took a long time, they were traveling on foot, and they encountered dangers such as plagues, droughts, and enemy nations. However, one thing they didn’t have to face was one of the big travel drawbacks of today: jet lag! 

You might be traveling across multiple time zones this spring, whether you’re going to visit family on the opposite coast or flying overseas to a kosher Passover hotel. Jet lag can be a hard thing to overcome, especially if you’re flying west to east. A good rule of thumb is that overcoming jet lag can take one day for each time zone traversed. Still, there are a few things you can do before, during, and after your flight to combat this travel fatigue. So, even if you’re not walking across the desert or facing the Amalekites, here are a few tips for fighting jet lag.

  1. One helpful piece of advice is to try to purchase a ticket that arrives at your destination during the day. That way, you can get some sun, and start to adjust to being awake during the day of where you’ve landed. Try to avoid arriving after sunset or late at night. 
  2. Another piece of advice would be to get a good night’s sleep the night before you travel. I know this can be difficult if you have to do things at the last minute, or if you have little kids. Some people even try to stay up the night before the flight, deliberately, because they think that means they’ll sleep the whole flight through. I always try to get a good night’s sleep, regardless of whether I’m flying. But getting a full night’s sleep the night before flying should make it easier to adjust to your destination’s time zone and combat jet lag when you arrive.
  3. I would also advise you to watch what you eat when you fly. I’ve read that you should avoid alcohol, both because it can make you sleepy at the wrong time on the plane and because at high altitudes it can cause dehydration. I’ve also never been a big fan of sleeping pills, and it’s not always advisable to wake up all groggy when you land. Finally, while sleeping pills make you more sleepy, stimulants like caffeine can make you less sleepy, so you might want to lay off the coffee and cola when you fly. I think water is the way to go on the plane.
  4. Exercise is good. Now, I’m not saying you should do jumping jacks or pushups in the aisle of the plane, but staying active and moving can be helpful in the fight against jet lag. These can boost your endorphins, which I’m told is quite helpful. A lot of airlines have those things in the seat in front of you that have small exercises you can do in your seat. I also wouldn’t say no to a pair of those flight socks.   

Well, I think that’s it for now. What are your secrets to fighting jet lag?

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