Hawaii Jet Lag: Complete Guide & 9 Tips To Avoid It

Hawaii Jet Lag

Planning a trip to the beautiful paradise of Hawaii? As exciting as it sounds, the long journey and the significant time zone differences can lead to jet lag. As a travel supplement company, our complete guide will share everything you need to know about Hawaii jet lag and nine tips to avoid jet lag on your visit.

What Causes Hawaii Jet Lag?

The primary cause of jet lag from Hawaii is the rapid shift in time zones, which disrupts the body's internal clock. However, unlike most write-ups, we find there's five major factors that contribute to jet lag that you should be aware of when traveling to Hawaii.

Here's the top 5 causes of Hawaii jet lag:

1. Rapid Shift In Time Zones
Jet lag traveling to (or from) Hawaii requires passing between 3 and 6 time zones. It causes a temporary disruption to your body's internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, causing a misalignment between your internal body clock and the local Hawaiian time.

2. Airplane Altitude Change
When flying to Hawaii, the airplane is typically pressurized to between 5,000 and 9,000 feet.² This can cause physiological stress in the body similar to altitude sickness, such as headache and fatigue.²

3. Dehydrating Cabin Effects
Airplane cabins have been shown in research to lead to fluid loss or dehydration due to using recirculated cool air that's dry.³

4. Lack Of Sunlight
Your body is deprived of natural sunlight when you travel to Hawaii due to the enclosed airplane and even airport. Sunlight plays a key role in the circadian rhythm of your body and also melatonin production.⁴

5. No Movement
When on a long-haul flight to Hawaii, it can take 6-9 hours depending on your departure city. Being sedentary from sitting on the plane can further sedentary jet lag as movement and exercise are key to energy levels, melatonin, stress, and sleep.[⁵][⁶]

The combination of these five factors will likely contribute to your Hawaii jet lag. By be knowledgable and following our tips to prepare, you may better avoid the jet lag that could be a setback on your trip.

Do You Get Jet Lag From Hawaii?

Yes, jet lag from Hawaii can actually be worse than flying to Hawaii from United States. This is due to flying East versus flying West, which is well documented the flying East is the worst.

How Long Does Hawaii Jet Lag Last?

The Mayo Clinic states it can take approximately one day to recover for every time zone traveled. If flying from the west coast on Pacific Time (PST), this can take up to 3 days. If flying from the east coast on Easter Time (EST), this can take up to 6 days.

By following our tips below you can help minimize the time to adjust on your Hawaii trip.

Symptoms Of Hawaii Jet Lag

Jet lag can include a wide range of symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • daytime sleepiness
  • headaches
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • digestive or gastrointestinal issues
  • mood swings

When traveling to Hawaii, the jet lag symptoms usually develop within a day or two after traveling.

9 Tips To Avoid Hawaii Jet Lag

Hawaii is one of the most dreamiest vacations you can take, but jet lag can spoil your trip real fast.

As a travel supplement company, we've done extensive research on the effects of jet lag and traveling to your body. Based on that knowledge, we'll share our best tips to help you avoid or minimize Hawaii jet lag.

Here are the 9 tips to avoid jet lag when flying to Hawaii:

1. Adjust Your Sleep Before Flight

By changing your sleeping schedule before flight, the CDC specifies that you can cut down your adjustment time. Approximately a week before your trip, start going to bed an hour later.⁸

  • Traveling west to Hawaii, go to bed an hour later each night.
This will help your body adjust to the Hawaiian time well before you arrive.

2. Hydrate Properly

Due to the dehydrating effects of airplane travel, drink plenty of water during and after your Hawaii flight.³ Half of your weight in ounces of water each day is optimal.

TIP: To help enhance your hydration, add sea salt (contains electrolytes) to your food, and use Zaca hydration chewable tablets to increase water absorption.

3. Fast During Travel

Fasting during a flight is a lessor known strategy to minimize jet lag as it helps reset your body's circadian rhythm.⁹ To maximize fasting, Dr. Saper recommends a 12-16 hour fast the day prior and day of flying.⁹

4. Limit Alcohol

Alcohol not only can be dehydrating and lead to symptoms similar to jet lag such as fatigue and headache, it can decrease the quality of sleep.¹⁰ While you may be eager to have a drink if this trip to Hawaii is for vacation, you'll want to limit or avoid alcohol the day of flying and the first day or two of arrive.

5. Switch to Hawaiian Time on the Plane

Once you board the plane, switch your clock to Hawaiian time. This can allow your sleep-wake cycle to be aligned on your 6-9 hour Hawaii flight for when you arrive. For example if you take off in the evening, it may be dark on your flight but daytime in Hawaii. In this case, you'll want to avoid sleeping or napping to mimic Hawaii time.

6. Get Plenty Of Sunlight

When you arrive to Hawaii, get plenty of sunlight each day. With the deprivation of sunlight while flying and the power of the sun's rays, this can help your body's melatonin production and quality of sleep.⁴

7. Exercise Daily

While traveling by plane will make you sedentary, exercise daily when you arrive to Hawaii to get the juices flowing. Whether walking, jogging, or even lifting weights, exercise is shown to increase melatonin production,¹¹ lower stress, and help energy levels.¹²

8. Moderate Caffeine

Drinking caffeine too late in the day has been shown to effect the internal body clock which might worsen jet lag.¹³ A cup of coffee in the morning can certainly improve your alertness and energy, but moderate your caffeine intake and avoid it later in the day and at night.

9. Take Antioxidants

Jet lag was discovered by a medical school to decrease glutathione.¹⁴ As the body's master antioxidant, this is likely from oxidative stress when traveling and the airplane cabin conditions.¹⁵ Take antioxidants (pills or tablets) to boost your glutathione levels and fortify your body's natural defenses.

Follow these tips or a combination of them to help minimize or avoid Hawaii jet lag — which includes adjusting your sleep before flight, hydrating properly, fasting during travel, limiting alcohol, switching to Hawaii time on the plane, getting plenty of sunlight, exercising daily, moderating caffeine intake, and taking antioxidants.

How Do You Survive Jet Lag In Hawaii?

To survive jet lag, follow our nine tips detailed, which include:

  • Adjusting your sleep before flight
  • Hydrating properly
  • Fasting during travel
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Switching to Hawaii time on the plane
  • Getting plenty of sunlight
  • Exercising daily
  • Moderating caffeine intake
  • Taking antioxidants

These steps to prepare and avoid jet lag can drastically improve your experience in Hawaii, and even if you're flying back from Hawaii.

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1. Jet Lag - Ways To Reduce Jet Lag
2. Can You Get Altitude Sickness from Flying?
3. Up in the Air: Evidence of Dehydration Risk and Long-Haul Flight on Athletic Performance
4. How Sun Exposure Affects Sleep and Melatonin Production
5. The Benefits of Exercise while Traveling
6. Influence of Aerobic Exercise on Sleep and Salivary Melatonin in Men
7. Ways To Get Over Jet Lag During Your Hawaii Vacation
8. Jet Lag Before Travel - CDC
9. Resetting Your Circadian Clock To Minimize Jet Lag
10. Effects of Alcohol
11. The Benefits of Exercise while Traveling
12. Influence of Aerobic Exercise on Sleep and Salivary Melatonin in Men
13. Why drinking coffee can give you jet lag – and help you get over it
14. Circadian Disruption Reveals a Correlation of an Oxidative GSH/GSSG Jet Lag
15. High altitude and oxidative stress
16. Glutathione Benefits
17. How Long Should Your Hawaiian Vacation Be? And Jet Lag