Jet Lag and Marshmallows
Since returning from India, I’ve been struggling with jet lag and a cold that I caught on the plane. Some days it feels as though a 30-pound marshmallow is sitting on me. My legs feel heavy and for a couple of weeks after my return, it felt like there was a laundry pin clipped to the upper part of my nose.
I’m over the worst of it now, but I don’t want to go through that again (and with a trip to China scheduled for the fall, it could happen again sooner rather than later).
Here’s what I VOW to do on my next long flight:
1) Get enough sleep ON the plane. I believe that this is where I went terribly wrong on the flight from India. I’m a good sleeper on planes and am generally asleep before we leave the tarmac. For some reason, however, I stayed awake on this round and didn’t really even try to sleep. 24-hours later… well, you know what happened. Next time, I’ll take valerian root capsules to help lull me to sleep – these are a natural alternative to prescription sleep aids, which I’m very much against. Sleeping pills can put you into so deep a sleep that your body doesn’t move around enough, ultimately causing blood clots leading to deep vein thrombosis.
2) I had two glasses of wine in the airport lounge just prior to the flight. I always recommend not drinking before or during flights as it dehydrates you, but hey, these were free. Interestingly enough, the one glass of wine that I’ve had since returning put me to sleep within 30 minutes. No alcohol on future flights, even if it’s free!
3) Drink lots of liquids. I was awake enough to accept all the rounds of water and juice that the flight attendants offered, but I probably could have used more liquids throughout the 24-hour flight(s).
4) Bring light snacks. While this is harder to do on a journey home because I may not have access to my normal snack food (nuts, fruit, protein bars, etc.), I could have made an effort to bring some nuts on the plane with me and eaten half the amount of food provided by the airlines (despite the fact that the fresh fruits and croissants were delightful).
Luckily, to make those wakeful hours more interesting, this is what I was carrying with me in my personal carry-on bag:
1) toothpaste, toothbrush and a reusable plastic toothpick
2) gum (for my ears during landing and takeoff and for fresh breath)
3) eye mask (invariably, the person next to me will have their overhead light on and it will be shining my way, too)
4) neck pillow (it’s hard to find one that will stay inflated, but even if it works just long enough to put you to sleep, it’s helpful)
5) lip balm (my lips get SO dried and chapped in-flight!)
6) book (even the most enthralling book will put me to sleep)
Next time, my travel home will indeed be happier!1 comment