I love flying. Every time I return from a trip, I already think about where to go next. Traveling and flying are a few things that keep me sane. I know I’m weird, and I get that. I won’t be offended when somebody calls me a weirdo for this reason.
Traveling extensively comes with costs. It’s costing our body, mind, and health in general. It is very important to stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Although sometimes it’s hard to do, especially when I fly on an ultra long haul flight. I’m talking about 16+ hours.
We, firstofly family, are very grateful and fortunate. Often, we have the opportunity to fly in a premium cabin on a lie-flat seat. We don’t take it for granted. We always try to find the best deal and maximize our miles and points to fly comfortably. If we can do that, so can you! So ask me, I’ll be more than happy to guide you!
Now, back to the topic. There are a few things I do to minimize the impact of flying on my body. This may not work for everyone, this is what I do:
Wear Me Out
This is the most important thing of all to avoid jet lag. Let’s say I’m in Asia, so the time difference is roughly 12 hours. Meaning the U.S. time is the complete opposite day and night of where I am. I always try to wear myself out as much as I can one day before my flight. Before my long haul flight, I normally treat the local time where I’m at as the U.S. time. It lets my body ease into thinking that I’m in the U.S. timezones.
When flying, I like wearing something light like a t-shirt and gym shorts. I usually change my clothes right away after boarding. Because sometimes it takes a while for the captain to turn off the seatbelt sign once airborne. I also take off my contacts because wearing them when sleeping makes my eyes dry. Some airlines provide pajamas and slippers. Pajamas are too warm for me, so I only wear the slippers.
Eat Light After Take-off
Most of my favorite airlines offer dine-on-demand. I love this concept because I can eat anything and anytime I want. I usually order the light meal option after take-off. I’m a person who can’t sleep when hungry. It helps me fall asleep easier and sleep better.
Preparation for Sleep
This is not for everyone, so consult with your healthcare provider before taking anything. This works for me. I always have a supply of over-the-counter melatonin with me when traveling. I take a normal dose before having my light meal because it will take some time to kick in.
I can only sleep when my surrounding is completely dark. So an eye mask is a must.
I also like it quiet when sleeping. In the premium cabin, over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones are available. But I don’t like them because they are bulky. I always bring my own noise-canceling earbuds instead. It’s perfect because they are small and I can have them on while sleeping.
The environment inside the flying metal tube is very dry. I like having bottled water right next to my bed. Sometimes I wake up because my throat is very dry.
When these strategies work, I usually get about 8-10 hours of sleep. After getting my beauty sleep, I order another meal and watch a movie or two. When I land, I feel very little to no jet lag at all.
Different people do things differently to avoid jet lag after flying an ultra long haul flight. Of course, what I do to avoid jet lag doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. But 90% of the time, those things I mentioned above work for me. When I get 8-10 hours of sleep, I will get well re-adjusted to the U.S. time upon arrival.