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How to Recover From Jet Lag After a Long Haul Flight

Flying can take its toll on your body and lead to several health issues such as skin dryness, blood clots, and dehydration. Most people experience at least some of the unpleasant effects of jet lag following a long-haul flight. The good news is you can recover from jet lag.


If you notice that you have fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating, you probably have jet lag. To help you feel your best, here are five tips to recover after a long-haul flight. 

recover from jet lag

Recover From Jet Lag After a Long Haul Flight

Avoid Drinking Alcohol 


While it may be tempting to over-indulge in the free minibar on your flight, this is a bad idea for several reasons. Firstly, the low humidity levels in airplane cabins can cause you to lose water more quickly.


Alcohol is a diuretic which means it adds to the effects and you risk becoming seriously dehydrated if you’re not drinking enough water.

cocktail, recover from jet lag

Secondly, the effects of alcohol are much stronger while flying. KLM explains why you should avoid over-consumption of alcohol during a flight:


“The lower air pressure reduces the body’s ability to absorb oxygen which means you may seem more intoxicated in the air than you would on the ground after drinking the same volume of alcohol.”


For that reason, you should avoid alcohol and stick to water or juice if you want to feel your best after your flight. It is recommended that you also avoid drinking alcohol the day before you fly to help further avoid dehydration while flying. 

recover from jet lag

Go to Sleep at the Right Time

When you arrive at your new destination, you should avoid the temptation to go straight to bed. No matter how jet-lagged you are, try to stay awake until it’s bedtime in your new time zone.


Make sure you also set an alarm to ensure that you wake up at a reasonable time in the morning and don’t accidentally sleep through until the afternoon. That way, you will allow your body to go straight into a good sleep routine and you’ll find it far easier to get to sleep at night.

sleeping, recover from jet lag

Try to also avoid napping during the day or you risk confusing your body’s internal clock which will negatively impact your ability to sleep at night.


You can help your body adjust to your new time zone by changing your schedule in advance.


A few days before you travel, try to start sleeping and eating at the times that reflect your new time zone. This will help minimize the effects of jet lag after you arrive at your destination. 

recover from jet lag, sleeping airport

Improve Your Sleep Quality 

Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep by purchasing a quality mattress that provides the correct level of comfort and support. For instance, Essentia Latex Mattress from Essentia offers an excellent selection of quality mattresses to suit every lifestyle and taste — from organic memory foam to whole-body recovery.


Finding the right mattress will have a significant impact on your overall sleep quality and this is essential if you want to recover from the effects of jet lag. Make sure that you also choose the best pillows and duvet to support a good night’s sleep.

Thon Hotel Britannia 2
Even after sleeping on the train, this kid was wiped. But hey, our room was swank!

Other simple ways to improve your sleep quality include taking a relaxing bubble bath before bed, avoiding using technology like smartphones in the evenings, and purchasing blackout curtains to reduce outdoor light. 

recover from jet lag

Apply Hydrating Skincare Products 

Your skin can become seriously dry while traveling due to the high altitudes and low cabin pressure. This can lead to a dull complexion that highlights skin issues like acne, fine lines, and wrinkles.


For that reason, you should take steps to ensure that your skin remains properly hydrated while traveling. I have a huge beauty guide here filled with awesome products for this!


Pamper yourself Gift guide


Make sure that you apply a moisturizer regularly and use a hydrating skin treatment like a hydrogel mask. These innovative face masks deliver a serious hydration boost to the skin in just 20 minutes.


They are super easy to use, come in convenient individual packets, and you don’t need to wash your face after use.


This makes them the perfect travel accessory to keep your skin looking amazing on the go. 

recover from jet lag

Boost Your Energy with Exercise 

You may not feel like hitting the gym after a long-haul flight, but exercise is an effective way to get your energy levels up and recharge your body. Lack of movement during a flight can cause a build-up of fluid in the lower body.


Exercise will improve blood flow to your muscles and reduce any swelling.

fitness class, yoga, stay fit on trips, travel workout

Being physically active during the day will also help ensure that you’re tired and able to get to sleep when you go to bed at night. Try to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air by going for a walk or run in the park or by taking part in a fun outdoor exercise class.


Exercising should make you feel energized and help boost your mood following a long-haul flight. 


Sometimes no matter what you do, you just can’t avoid the effects long-haul flights and different time zones can take on you. Stay as proactive as you can and follow these tips on how to recover from jet lag if you find yourself run down. 

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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