How to Conquer Jet Lag

Taj Bates

Once, when I was a kid, I flew from one time zone to the next to visit my grandparents.

Upon landing, I innocently informed my grandpa that I was jetlagged, and he just chuckled to himself—the way adults do when a kid says something that's so darned cute!

My young mind wasn't yet hip to the fact that you can't get jet lag crossing just 1 time zone.

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that occurs when a person  travels rapidly (via plane) across numerous time zones, disrupting the body's circadian rhythm or 'internal clock.'

Your brain relies on the rise and fall of the sun to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. When that cycle is disrupted, it can cause you to feel sleepy and sluggish for a few days until your body fully adjusts to the new time zone and its sun cycle.

There's no shortage of articles with all kinds of zany tips and tricks on how you can minimize the effects and duration of jet lag.

I've done lots of long-haul flights and, over time, I've found that the best solutions to minimizing jet lag are the simplest and healthiest ones.

It's important to understand that jet lag is your body's way of adjusting to a lot of changes. Not just the difference in time zone and hours of daylight. But also the stress of flying 500+ mph (800+ kph) at 35,000+ feet (10,668+ m) for half a day or more, in a dehydrating airplane with germs, cramped seats and so on.

So the key to conquering jet lag is not by guzzling coffee or popping addictive sleeping pills; but rather, by giving your body exactly what it needs, in natural, holistic ways.