Jet lag, the unavoidable negative side affect of travel. Honestly, for me, it is totally worth the couple of days feeling “foggy” to be able to visit amazing locations. I have to admit that travelling east does not effect me as much as going west. This is a bit of a mystery to me. Some travel sites say going west to east is easier and others say east to west is easier. Basically, it comes down to each individual. I have little to no jet lag going to Europe but feel fairly sluggish on the return. One thing I did notice this trip was how wonderful the sunlight felt the day of our arrival. I thought to myself, ” I bet this sunlight is helping our internal clocks get set.” Sure enough, light therapy is one of the many strategies people employ to beat jet lag. If I was travelling trans-atlantic every month then I might develop some sort of routine to beat the jet lag, but for the occasional traveller let’s keep it simple. Take the latest flight you can, eat your meal, sleep/rest on the plane, eat breakfast and have some caffeine, DON’T NAP during the day, get outside in the light, go to sleep at a normal bedtime in your time zone. This is exactly what Heather and I do on flights to Europe. We wake up the next day totally fine and ready to conquer the day.
The return trip is a little different. It feels like the longest day ever. It’s almost surreal. You wake up in one time zone and don’t go to sleep until you have arrived home. Due to delays once we arrived at Dulles, we were awake for a full 24 hours. I had tried some homeopathic No Jet Lag pills in hopes that my jet lag would be less. It is hard to say if they worked or not. Staying up for 24 hours makes me feel awful for days, with or without flying. I did feel fairly alert the day after the flight. I drove 10 hours from Ohio to South Carolina and only started feel weary the last half hour. So maybe the No Jet Lag pills did work. Coming home to a clean house, mowed lawn, happy kids, shrimp dip and a cold cider helped as well. I have an awesome husband!
The day after the drive was when I felt like my brain was in a fog. I’m sure the combination of the flight and the drive finally hit me. My poor children had to ask me a question three times before I understood what they were saying to me. I wandered around my house trying to unpack and went to bed at 9 pm which is early for me. The next morning I woke up refreshed, but I had to take a nap that afternoon. It was Sunday, naps on Sunday are normal right? Really, I don’t suffer terribly from jet lag, it doesn’t take me 5 days to recover, but I am going to look into some more strategies for east to west jet lag. I am going to try the No Jet Lag pills again and I may try sleeping on the flight home. If any of you have strategies for beating Europe to US jet lag I would love to hear them. Leave us a comment below.
Enjoying the journey,