10 Tips How To Deal With Jet Lag To Australia

How To Deal With Jet Lag To Australia

When you are traveling to Australia, jet lag is unavoidable. Jet Lag is one of the most common effects of air travel at long distance. Read our complete guide below for comprehensive tips on how to deal with jet lag to Australia.

What Causes Jet Lag?

Jet lag occurs when your body's internal clock gets confused by the change in time zones.

It is a natural occurrence for humans and animals when they travel across time zones because of the difference between day and night. The body's internal clock regulates circadian rhythm, or sleeping patterns. 

With a long trip like to Australia, it's reported in a study by Upjohn that 94% of long haul travelers deal with jet lag.²

There's actually 3 factors causing jet lag, as below:¹

1. Circadian Rhythms - Jet lag is caused by the disruption of our circadian rhythms, or body clocks. The body clock is a complex network of nerve cells in the brain that control many physiological processes important for health, including sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, and the timing of body temperature changes.¹

2. Sunlight Exposure - Sunlight exposure plays an important role in regulating our circadian rhythms. Light enters through our eyes and travels to our brains where it tiggers mechanisms such as an increase in melatonin production. Melatonin has been shown to have a variety of effects on bodily systems including regulation of sleep and mood.¹

3. Airplane Cabin Altitude - Airplane cabin pressure is equivalent oxygen levels at 6,000 to 8,000 feet. Therefore, the high altitude cabin conditions and dry climate can cause jet lag, similar to altitude sickness

Understanding the combination of these three factors will help with how to deal with jet lag to Australia, which we'll discuss below.

Is Jet lag worse going to or from Australia?

While the difference can be very subtle, jet lag tends to be worse going from Australia home.

Most flights from Australia to United States are traveling east. Flying east is known to intensify jet lag.

Experts hypothesize that it may be due to the body having to advance its internal time clock versus delaying it. Flying east advances your circadian rhythms, while flying west delays your circadian rhythms.³

10 Tips How To Deal With Jet Lag To Australia

When you travel to Australia, jet lag can be a major problem.

The time difference between the US and Australia is on average 15-18 hours,⁴ and usually a minimum of 18 hours of airplane travel.⁵ Even for long haul travelers this is considered a very long distance,

This is why it's important to take precautions and follow these researched tips on how to deal with jet lag to Australia.

Here's ten tips how to deal with jet lag to Australia:

1. Sleep On Plane During Destination Nighttime

Check the sunset and nighttime times before your Australian flight. While flying, you'll want to try and only sleep during times that are nighttime in Australia.

Basically, mimic the Australian time zone while flying as much as possible to help you body adjust better upon arrival.

2. Exercise Each Day

Exercise can help increase energy, lower stress, and improve your sleep -- all of which can help jet lag.⁶

A study at Elon University revealed that melatonin production may increase at night moderate through moderate exercise.⁷

Whether walking, jogging, resistance training, or even hiking and exploring -- exercise can better your body's ability how to deal with jet lag to Australia.

3. Hydrate Yourself

The problem in airplane cabins, as revealed in a 2020 study, is that the air is dry and recirculated leading to a high risk of dehydration.⁸

Drinking plenty of water is essential to hydrate yourself. Most experts recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water.

TIP: You can increase electrolytes by adding sea salt to your foods or water. Or take the hydration chewable made by Zaca that will enhance your hydration and water absorption.

4. Adjust Schedule Before Departure

Adjust your schedule, including sleeping and eating, closer to the Austrian time zone prior to leaving on your trip.⁹

  • Flying west (going to Australia), gradually get to bed 1-5 hours later than normal.
  • Flying east (leaving Australia), gradually get to bed 1-5 hours earlier than normal.
This will enable your body adjust closer to the time zone in Australia to help jet lag.

5. Use Jet Lag Supplements

One of the best ways to deal with jet lag to Australia is by using jet lag supplements.

This long haul traveling can cause dehydration, oxidative stress and fatigue. These supplements can replenish the nutrients needed to fuel your body for travel.

In our years of research, we've identified two nutrients that can help:

1. Glutathione - SIU School of Medicine discovered that glutathione levels decrease from jet lag.¹⁰ Supplementing this effective amino acid can help replenish glutathione and fight oxidative stress from traveling.

2. Glutamine - Research out of Brazil revealed glutamine to have anti-fatigue and hydration increasing abilities.¹¹ Supplementing glutamine can help combat airplane dehydration and fatigue.

These two nutrients, glutathione and glutamine, can be a powerful combination in the best jet lag supplements.

6. Get Plenty Of Sunlight

According to Dr. Russell Reiter’s book, Melatonin, natural sunlight exposure produces far more melatonin at night.¹²

It's best to get plenty of sunlight outside upon arrive in Australia, as it can play a role in circadian rhythms and regulating hormones.¹³

The opposite is true at nighttime, to minimize light exposure including blue lights such as TV and cell phone use, which will maximize your body's ability to sleep better.

7. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

It's no secret that alcohol can disrupt your sleep quality. Although hard to do in Australia, try to eliminate or limit your alcohol intake the first few days until you're more adjusted to the time zone.

In addition, don't drink coffee or caffeine in the second half part of your days. This will ensure you don't delay your ability to sleep.

8. Quick Naps Only

While sleeping can be tempting if you're exhausted from your flights and jet lag, take only quick naps during the day.

If you nap for more than 90 minutes, you enter REM sleep which will disrupt your sleep quality at night.

Rather, limit your naps to 15-20 minutes when possible.

9. Sleep Well Before Flying

One of the best precautions is to rest up well before flying.

Dealing with jet lag to Australia will be hard, the last thing you want is to start your trip with lack of sleep.

Rest and sleep a good 7-9 hours each night leading up to your trip to Australia.

10. Arrive 1-2 Days Early

This last tip can help whether on a business trip or vacation. Arrive 1-2 days early before any events or adventures you have planned.

These few days will give your body some time to adjust and recover from jet lag.

This wraps up our comprehensive list on how to deal with jet lag to Australia.

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1. Jet Lag Disorder
2. Who Gets Jet Lag?
3. Is jet lag worse after traveling east than west?
4. Travel Math Australia to United States
5. United States to Australia flight duration
6. The Benefits of Exercise while Traveling
7. Influence of Aerobic Exercise on Sleep and Salivary Melatonin in Men
8. Up in the Air: Evidence of Dehydration Risk and Long-Haul Flight on Athletic Performance
9. Jet Lag - CDC
10. Circadian Disruption Reveals a Correlation of an Oxidative GSH/GSSG Redox Shift with Learning and Impaired Memory in an Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model
11. Glutamine as an Anti-Fatigue Amino Acid in Sports Nutrition
12. How Sun Exposure Affects Sleep and Melatonin Production
13. Sleep, sunshine & vitamin D