How to Recover Quickly from Jet Lag

You’ve now learned some travel tips to help you stay healthy, sleep better, pack your carry-on bag and prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) on your next flight.

Did you know that there are things you can do during your journey that will help your body recover more quickly once you arrive at your destination?

Your internal time clock is controlled by the hormone melatonin. When it gets dark, melatonin makes you drowsy and controls your body temperature while you’re sleeping.

If you cross time zones quickly, the internal time clock in your body desynchronises. This results in jet lag, which disturbs your sleepwake patterns, impedes concentration and causes fatigue, headaches, irritability and stress.

Jet lag isn’t pleasant, and you’ll want to get over it quickly if you have things to do soon after your arrival.


To help your body recover from jet lag, faster

What you should always wear on a plane

  • Loose fitting and comfortable clothing
  • Graduated compression socks—these will help prevent blood from pooling in your calves. They also stimulate blood circulation, reduce swelling and protect you against DVT

Inflight Exercise

  • Exercise your calf and foot muscles every half hour:
  • While seated, bend and straighten your toes, feet and legs
  • Press the balls of your feet down firmly against the floor or foot rest
  • Massage your ankles, feet and legs
  • Don’t cross your legs
  • Take a quick walk to get your circulation going once you arrive at your destination

Stay hydrated

  • The air inside a plane is extremely dry; humidity may be less than 20%. In comparison, average comfort levels are 40–70% humidity. To stay hydrated:
  • Drink plenty of water to reduce headaches, cramps and fatigue
  • Avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol and caffeine
  • try herbal tea instead – Avoid salty food that will also dehydrate you

Adjust your watch

  • Prior to take off, adjust your watch to your destination’s time zone. Try to sleep when it’s night time at your destination—pillows, blankets, noise cancelling headphones, essential oils and sleep masks all help. If it’s daytime at your destination, try to resist the urge to sleep on the plane.

Enjoy the stopover

  • This can provide a welcome break from flying, help you adjust your body clock and give you the opportunity to explore a new city.

Allow a few days to adjust

  • If you can, avoid planning any intensive activities in the first few days of your trip, to give yourself time to adjust once you arrive.

Sunlight is key

  • If you travel east, avoid morning light but catch some rays in the afternoon. If you travel west, get as much light exposure as you can right before sunset.


Visit TXG Compression Wear’s listing on Eldernet

If you can’t wait each week feel free to view these tips online. A free e-book with this information can be downloaded from TXG’s website

About Heather Gatland

Heather Gatland
Like many other baby boomers, I have discovered that inevitably, with age, aches and pains become more frequent and injuries take longer to recover from. I discovered that TXG graduated compression socks could help me to reclaim my active lifestyle by preventing injury and aiding recovery and also help protect against swelling and potentially life threatening Deep Vein Thrombosis when travelling. After shopping around, I found that high quality graduated compression socks that are also affordable weren’t readily available in New Zealand. So, I decided to make TXG compression socks more accessible to other kiwis and to provide the kind of personalised customer service that I would like to receive myself. At TXG we help you, take care of you.