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Jet lag is known as extreme tiredness felt by a person after a long flight across different time zones. You can experience jet lag on any long haul route, but flying east through different time zones seems to cause the worst jet lag. Jet lag can be a different experience for anyone. Some people will be extremely tired or, on the contrary, not able to fall asleep. Others will not have any issues with their sleep schedule but will be dizzy or won’t be able to focus on their work.
My experience with jet lag as a flight attendant
No flight attendant has a normal sleep schedule. With most international flight attendants it’s even worse. Flying to other continents means flying through different time zones. As a flight attendant with a Houston – Amsterdam route, it is inevitable to experience jet lag.
On my regular route between Houston and Amsterdam, I fly east on the way out which I definitely feel once I arrive in Amsterdam. Once our crew gets to our hotel in the morning, we usually want to go straight to bed. Problem is, once it’s actually time go to bed, we are wide awake.
How to get over jet lag fast
For the first few months working as a flight attendant, I was stuck wide awake when I actually should sleep. Even when I wouldn’t sleep during the day, I could not sleep for more than two hours at night. Recently, I’ve been able to get over my jet lag and sleep throughout the night. I feel great going into my return trip and coming back home. Want to find out how I got over my jet lag? Check out my three best remedies!
1. Adjust your sleep schedule
Some people advise to start living according to your new time zone days ahead before your trip. However, it’s ineffective and unnecessary. Since I work a red-eye flight that starts in the late afternoon, I will make sure to go to bed late the night before and sleep in. This way, I won’t be awake for too long before my trip so I have enough energy to stay awake the whole flight.
Depending on your flight time and time zone difference, you could consider going to bed much earlier or later than normal the night before your trip, to align with your new sleep schedule.
2. Drink tea
Whether I’m on a layover or at home, I like to drink some tea before bedtime. The best tea to help you fall asleep is a caffeine-free herbal tea, like chamomile, valerian root or lavender. Some downtime in a warm bath with some hot tea usually does wonders to fall asleep.
3. Take melatonin
When adjusting my sleep schedule and drinking tea don’t get me to sleep, I like to take some melatonin to help me fall and stay asleep. To start off, I am not a doctor so check with one if melatonin is an option for you. If you generally don’t sleep well, I would advise against using melatonin. Make sure you find out where your sleep issues come from and get the actual problem fixed.
For anyone that usually sleeps well but does experience jet lag, melatonin may be an effective quick fix. Melatonin is a hormone that helps your body know when it’s time to sleep. Your body starts to produce melatonin naturally when it’s dark, which may be an issue when you start your flight during the daytime and arrive at your destination in the morning.
To aid falling and staying asleep, I’ve recently started taking melatonin. It works perfectly to get me through an eight hour night and makes me feel refreshed in the morning. If you’ve tried everything else, melatonin may help you too.
These three methods help me fall asleep on my layover and I wake up energized and refreshed every trip. What do you use to get over a jet lag? Leave your best remedies in the comments.