I returned from my most recent trip to Asia last weekend. The trip was amazing because I got the opportunity to visit so many wonderful places, some new and some old. While the trip was awesome, the toll the jet lag took on my body, is still evident.
I figured that I would write a post on some things I have tried (or should have tried) to aid in my recovery:
Hydrate. I take my water bottle on every trip. Usually, I have the flight attendant refill the bottle during the trip, but for some reason or another, I did not. On the other side of that, I may have partaken in a few too many adult beverages…because vacation. LOL. I knew to drink more water, I just did not do it.
Flight Times. When I scheduled my flights, I thought the plan was perfect to optimize sleep. I scheduled my outbound flight to arrive in Bangkok at 11pm local time. This would allow me to check into the hotel so I could sleep at a relatively normal hour. There were numerous flights and even a Shinkansen ride before i eventually made my way back to the states. On the return, I awoke in Japan at 5am for a 1030am flight. The direct flight was scheduled to land in Dallas at 0830am the same day. I figured this would allow me to stay awake and sleep at a normal time, however, I was wrong AGAIN. My body could not function when I returned…I could not sleep or be productive.
Sleep. When traveling, a regular sleep schedule can make or break you. I woke up most days without an alarm because I did not have anywhere to be. If I felt tired, I slept. If not, I ate or walked around the city I was visiting. This hurt me because my body did not fully get adjusted to the new time zones. This was in part due to my sleep habits and the short duration of the trip.
Eat Healthy. Again, I knew what I was supposed to do during the trip, but I did not because I was on holiday. The pad Thai, gyoza, curry, soba, ramen, and all of the other foods were not going to be missed. I had not been to Asia since my last trip in March 2018 and did not know when I would be returning, so I indulged.
Exercise. This is one thing I “try” to do when I travel. I take my workout gear with the intentions of hitting the gym, but I rarely seem to make it. LOL. Exercise is probably the most important way to counteract jet lag.
I made a conscious decision during the trip to ignore all of the tips above. If followed, i would not be awake at 4am on a Saturday morning typing this. I traveled across 14 time zones during the trip. The rule to become normal is one day per time zone so that means it will take me two weeks to return to a regular pattern. Maybe I will follow my tips on the next trip…maybe.