We've all been there -- excited for a big trip, only to feel like sleeping for a year once you land in your destination. Jet lag is no joke, and it affects not just first-time flyers, but old pros as well. If you're about to take a long trip by plane, read up on these tips for defeating jet lag.
1. One of the easiest ways to avoid a bad case of jet lag is by booking an overnight flight for longer trips. With a good soothing playlist, a nice pillow, and your normal sleeping hours, you'll be more likely to adjust better to new time zones.
2. Stretch! Keeping your body loose, limber and comfortable will help you relax and feel rested. Try as many smaller stretches as you can on the plane, but before and after, work on a few larger yoga-esque stretches to really get you loose.
3. Stick to the two-coffee rule. Have one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, but cut yourself off there. Getting too hyped up on caffeine may cause you to crash earlier than expected, so follow the two-rule limit for a perfect amount of perkiness.
4. Take your vitamins! Load up on all the good nutrients your body needs before taking flight. Focus on oranges, carrots and ginger, or big doses of Vitamin C and B.
5. Take a half-hour power nap when you arrive at your destination. Nothing longer or shorter - set your alarm! Thirty minutes seems to do the trick for most people, so if you're feeling crabby, sleepy or groggy, give up those thirty minutes to a good rest.
6. Avoid alcohol before and after the flight. You may think a drink will help you out, but because it is a depressant, it will just leave your sleepier after the flight. Alcohol can also dry you out significantly, leaving you dehydrated and more in need of rest.
7. Hydrate! Drink drink drink! Keep a big water bottle by your side at all times, and drink it up until you feel like you can't drink any longer. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to perk up.
8. Use a jet lag app to keep track of your sleeping. One of our favorites is Jet Lag Rooster, which creates a custom sleep-shifting schedule for every new trip. Just put your flight details in a few days before your trip, and the app will take care of the rest.
9. Make plans for after your flight. This one is simple - if you have a previous engagement planned out for an hour or so after your flight, you have no choice but to uphold it (we suggest planning something you paid for in advance, or meeting with a friend, so that you can't bail).
10. Get dressed up. If you put on your Sunday best for the flight, you'll feel more mentally prepared and pumped up for the trip ahead. If you find yourself in a pair of pajamas, you're likely to be a bit more sleepy.