5 simple ways to prevent jet lag naturally without medicine so you can have a longer groggy free vacation
You’ve booked your trip to Nepal and you announce the news on social media. “I’m going to Nepal!!!” Then all your friends post comments like “that’s great!”, “Have fun!”, “Bring me back a souvenir!”. Your drunk cousin Tamara then comments “Petri dish, centrifuge, jet lag.” (it’s code for have a good time, use a condom and jet lag). You reply to Tamara “centrifuge, centrifuge, petri dish, jet lag”, which translates as lots of love, thank you for the best wishes, and I already know about jet lag.
You already know about jet lag, great! But do you know how to prevent it? In this article I provide details for how you can prevent jet lag naturally, so you can have a longer more enjoyable vacation. Sounds pretty good huh? It is, and its easy too.
Acclimate to the time zone
Flying from the pacific coast of the united states (time zone UTC-8) to Nepal (UTC-5:45), you will cross 14-time zones. UTC stands for Universal Time, Co-ordinated, which is a fancy way of saying time starts in Greenwich London. To make it simple Nepal is 12 hours and 45 minutes ahead of pacific standard time.
A general rule of thumb is, your body will naturally adjust to the new time zone at a rate of 1 hour per day. That means, it will take 13 days to adjust to Nepal’s time zone if you are in the PST zone.
Fortunately, there are ways to get around this, like flashing light therapy, acclimating before your trip, change your eating time, abstain from alcohol, and arrive in Nepal in the morning or afternoon.
Flashing light therapy
Light therapy is a relatively new idea. It is designed to adjust your body’s biological clock to the time zone you want while you sleep. The therapy is straight forward; one flash of light, 2-milliseconds long, is emitted every 10 seconds for 1 hour while you sleep. The result of the therapy is a 2-hour delay in sleepiness. This therapy can reduce your acclimation time by 6 days!
Acclimate before your trip
This is my favorite method of preventing jet lag. For a week before my departure date, I go to bed an hour later each night. Its easy and super simple! I will stop going to bed later if it reduces my sleeping schedule to less than 6 hours. This can process can completely prevent jet lag if given enough time.
Chang your eating schedule
This biology hack has 2 components. The first component is fasting for 16 hours before arriving at your destination. This works best if you arrive at your destination in the morning around 8 or 9 am. Your first meal, after 16 hours of not eating, will in a since reboot your circadian rhythm.
When the first part is paired with the second part, it is extremely effective at preventing jet lag. It entails waking up during the middle of your sleep schedule and eating. This will program your body to “wake up” in the middle of your time zone, but in the mid-day of Nepal’s time zone.
I’m not aware of the science behind it but drinking alcohol in large quantities severely impacts the quality and duration of your sleep. If you know anything about it, let me know in the comments below.
Schedule arrival for the morning or afternoon not at night
When you book your flight, try to book one that arrives in the morning or before noon. This will give you full day of being active and potentially in the sunlight, which helps reduce jet lag.
Now that you know how to naturally prevent jet lag, you can message you cousin Tamara “petri dish, Nepal, jet lag jet shmag P.S. nah na nah na booz!” (I’m going to have a great time in Nepal without jet lag P.S. stop day drinking.)