Surviving Long Flights: Tips from a War Veteran

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Jet lag is one of the greatest challenges that some people face when travelling long flights. Most people would think that sleeping through it would be the easier solution, but there are some who would beg to differ.

Akshay Nanavati, an Iraq war veteran, became a marine to stop his drug addiction in high school. Nanavati was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder on his discharge, after which he looked towards extreme sports as a means of coping. Nanavati spends much of his time travelling from one area to the next for his trips. He travels to places like Greenland, Alaska, and Bolivia or between his two home bases in India and the U.S.


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Midair Workouts

Nanavati once said that when you go on long flights with the Marines, you do not have the time to rest, whether it is for something like boot camp for the San Diego Marine Corps or preparation for war in Kuwait. When you hit the ground, you have to get moving.

To curb the jet lag and stave off drowsiness during the long flight, Nanavati stays awake throughout the whole flight, using pre-workout supplements containing caffeine. Finding a remote corner of the plane, Nanavati would get down and knock out a few push ups to keep himself going and his blood flowing. He has even gone so far as to find enjoyment out of it as a challenge in of itself by doing more depending on the mileage and length of the flight. He says that you may get a few weird looks, but that might be preferable to suffering from jet lag.


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Loosen Your Schedule

Preparing for a long flight means you can start your trip feeling fresh rather than fatigued. If you have a strict schedule during your trip, spend your time relaxing a few days before the trip. Adjusting to new time zones becomes difficult with a rigid routine. You will start in a better place if you are flexible with your time.

Sleeping is an important part of your routine and changing its schedule may be difficult. Doing so in the middle of a long flight is tempting, but it may land you in a disadvantageous spot. Counteract this by getting a good night sleep before the flight. Humans are more equipped for longer days than shorter ones. Stay awake during the flight so the shift in time zones don’t mess you up.


Surviving Long Flights

Check Your Water Intake

Staying hydrated is also helpful during a flight. Drinking coffee or cola will help some people, but it helps to skip them because they affect sleep and increase jet lag recovery time. Avoiding alcohol is recommended too. Starting off the trip with a pre-flight drink is nice, and it’s a fine way to kick back; but it also makes you tired and dehydrated. Drink some water instead to compensate for the tiredness and the effects of jet lag.

Your trip shouldn’t be muddled by the pain of jet lag and sleeplessness, and your time becomes better with a clear head. Take tips from Nanavati to make those long arduous flights a little better for yourself.

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