Myths and truths to survive a long flight and jet lag – Nicolás Larenas

mitos verdades recomendaciones sobrevivir jet lag - Myths and truths to survive a long flight and jet lag - Nicolás Larenas

We review in this installment the myths about recommendations found on the Internet and that would “help” you survive a long flight and its jet lag.

Taking advantage of the trip that I told you about here from Quito to Japan with a stopover in Paris with Air France, which has been the longest flight I've been on, I prepared this post where we experimented with Sil, some of the most popular remedies or recommendations to support a long flight and its respective jet lag due to the time change.

On the Internet there are hundreds of tips, I rescued those that are repeated the most or those that promised better results and this is how it went in this experiment:

The experiment

A list of the 11 tips or recommendations that are most repeated on different web pages was made and we put them to the test to find out if they work or not, really hoping that they are effective so that we can enjoy the trip to the fullest.

It is important to indicate that the experience of each recommendation may vary from person to person according to their age, physical condition and others, therefore, what we show here is only a personal experience and does not mean that it is definitive.

Hydration to the maximum before flying

It is recommended to drink plenty of water before the flight, for example coconut water to keep electrolyte levels high, which will help reduce the effects of dryness, headaches and more that are suffered on a long flight.

  • It does work, getting fully hydrated on a plane makes you feel better and less uncomfortable while traveling to that distant destination.

Eat light

They do not recommend eating a lot before and even during a flight, given that the extreme feeling of fullness and the pressure changes in the plane will make the trip less comfortable.

  • It works, feeling light and without a full stomach certainly makes the trip more bearable. So control how much you eat if you enter a VIP room.
  • Eating fruits helps hydration.

Change your sleep hours

If you travel west, stay awake a few hours before sleeping, while if you travel east, sleep earlier.

  • We did not feel it as a help, even more so because our trip was to the east, to get to the west, so it was a mess to organize well.

Not sleeping before a flight

The Internet recommends, depending on the time of your flight, avoid sleeping so that you do so for the duration of your trip.

  • We tested it and it works, you will sleep (if it is easy for you to do so) more hours and the flight will be shorter.

On the plane, already use the time of your final destination

As soon as you get on the plane, forget about the time of your departure city, set the time of your final destination.

  • It was the best recommendation, forget about the local time and start living the normal life of our final destination, it costs a lot to do so, but it will undoubtedly help your adaptation.
  • If it's time to sleep at your final destination, sleep. If it's breakfast time, eat something, etc.

Don't drink alcohol

Drinking alcohol will affect your sleep, make you feel sick, and more.

  • As much free alcohol as the flight may have, don't drink it. It dehydrates you, gives a double headache due to pressure change and affects sleep.
  • I took a risk and had a wine, the effect was terrible, especially the multiplied headache.

Water, water and more water

Stay hydrated throughout the flight with at least half a liter for every hour of flight.

  • It is a lot of water and I don't think there is so much water in the entire plane, but without a doubt, drinking a lot of water helps you feel better both physically (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) and mentally.
  • Ask for water every time the toilet passes on board, you will not go to the bathroom as many times, since your body will need it more than normal.
  • Avoid juices, tea, or coffee.

Walk the plane

They say that exercising will help you feel better.

  • Without a doubt, on such long flights, walking down the aisle will help you stretch your muscles. Sitting for so many hours is not good for your health, especially for the elderly or with specific health problems.
  • I also recommend doing stretching exercises for the hands, legs, arms, neck, etc. You will notice the difference.


Staying clean will help you adjust to the new schedule.

  • Like the change of the clock, if you keep clean during the flight and brush your teeth for example, when it would be appropriate to do it in the time of your final destination, it will help you.
  • Washing your face and freshening up will make you feel better.
  • You can bring a moisturizer and toothpaste as long as they are not more than 100ml each.
  • When you get to your hotel, a good shower will help you adapt to the schedule.

Light is your friend

Make the most of the light when you are at your final destination and go about your life according to the time.

  • Likewise, it is one of the best recommendations. When you arrive at your final destination and it is daytime, do normal activities such as having lunch, going out to know for as many hours as you can until it is time to sleep.
  • If you arrive at night, follow the normal routine, lie down and try to sleep, you will surely be tired from your trip.
  • You will likely wake up several times in between for at least the first three nights, but following a normal routine will help make the most of your trip.
  • Avoid napping, stay awake as much as possible.


There are certain pills to counteract these effects.

  • Personally, we do not test them and I do not recommend them unless it is under prescription, be careful with this point if they were to read it on the Internet.


Some work and some do not, as I indicated it will vary from person to person, including the time zone to which you travel, type of aircraft (the Boeing 787 Dreamliner reduces these symptoms) and duration of the trip.

What are the tips against jet lag that you tried or do they work best for you?

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