After flying to Shanghai, Guatemala, Neuseeland and Australia and then back to Germany again I still don’t know how jet lag is feeling like. I basically covered all directions and certain different time zones but never experienced any of the common symptoms.
- sleepiness during the day
- insomnia at night
- poor concentration
- hunger at inappropriate times
- no hunger at all
- general malaise and irritability
Non. At least nothing I would have traced back to jet lag.
So what am I doing right?
Beats me, but I promised my number one fan that I would share what I am doing to avoid jet lag.
So here it comes:
- Set your watch to the time at your destination
As soon as I’ve stepped into the plane from Sydney to Berlin I’ve set my phone to the German time. This tricked my internal clock and helped to prepare myself for the new time zone.
=> So set your watch to the time at your destination as soon you enter the plane. If you have a layover somewhere in between make sure that you have that time in your phone as well. Otherwise you might just miss your connection flight.
- Sleep (or stay awake) like you’re already there.
Since the day in Germany just started when I’ve entered the plane in Sydney I was trying to stay awake as long as possible and until everyone else in Germany would go to bed. Some people make the mistake to sleep during most of the flight and then wonder why they can’t anymore once arrived.
=> Distract yourself with watching TV as long as you can and when your eyes are getting heavier let them rest for half an hour (see it as an afternoon nap). Just pretend that you would already be at your destination.
- Have a nap before taking off
Since the time difference between Sydney and Berlin was 10 hours and I was flying out in the evening I was having a nap in the afternoon before taking off. If I wouldn’t have had that it would have been an unbearable long day.
=> Have a nap before taking off and then try to stay awake as long as you can or until the people at your destination would go to bed.
- Drink a lot
I was drinking a lot of water and soft drinks. For once because they’d been free and second because that kept me hydrated (due to the dry, cabin air on the plane dehydration is a common symptom for jet lag).
=> Make sure that you drink a lot. And with that I don’t mean alcohol (Sorry for the bummer) or caffeine. If you drink a lot it will make you get up once in a while to go to the toilet. Use that time to walk a little bit to prevent thrombosis (Killed two birds with one stone hey :)).
- Try to follow a normal routine once arrived
As soon as I arrived in Germany I tried to follow a normal routine. Meaning I was eating and sleeping like everyone else over here. If I felt tired in the afternoon I let myself nap for 20 to 30 minutes cause that is what I am usually doing – jet lag or no jet lag :).
=> Avoid sleeping in the daytime. If you have to just take a nap for 30 minutes. Any longer than that will make the jet lag worse. Try to spend as much time outside as possible. Sunlight will help your brain to adjust (if there is no sun available you are screwed though ;)).
So that is what I found out is working for me. If it is working for someone else I might find out once my number one fan is here :). But until then safe travels!