4. Try Relaxation Techniques
Relax. Easier said than done, right? Especially when we find ourselves in unfamiliar environments. Luckily, there are several relaxation techniques we can take advantage of to ward off the racing thoughts and tight muscles that can keep up us awake at night. There are many guided meditations for sleep as well as bedtime yoga routines available online. If that’s not really your thing, you can always go with the classic warm-bath-and-a-good-book technique.
5. Regulate Melatonin Levels
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body and is directly related to the regulation of circadian rhythms, making it a logical first choice for treating jet lag. It is readily available at most grocery stores. Start with a small dose of melatonin a few hours before bed—too much can cause drowsiness the next day. A yummy alternative to taking a supplement is to have some tart cherry juice before bed to give your melatonin levels a natural boost.
6. Have Some Chamomile Tea
Having a warm cup of chamomile tea is another gentle, natural way to help you ease into sleep mode. Research suggests the tea contributes to a release of glycine—a naturally occurring chemical that acts like a mild sedative in the body.
7. Take Valerian Root Extract
While there are some contradictions in research related to valerian root and sleep, many scientists believe the herb works in a similar but milder way than sedating drugs, such as Xanax and Valium, do—by increasing the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain, helping to calm nerve cells and anxiety. Valerian root is available in capsule form, and although it has a very bitter flavor, some people brew tea with it.
So if you’re dealing with a case of jet lag, try some of these natural solutions. Remember that while supplements and herbs may be gentler than prescription medications, they often come with their own set of side effects and drug interactions. Check with your doctor before adding them to your self-care regimen.