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Best Way To Beat Jet Lag: Just Keep Moving

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Dublin to Boston on the red-eye flight.

Thistles and Coos offers relevant travel information to show you how you can travel affordably and accessible. We share our tips, how-to’s, stories, and what inspires us.

From all of our trials and errors for coping with this beast, our tried and true method to beat jet lag is to keep moving and go to sleep around 8:00pm local time in your destination.

Jet lag: Your circadian rhythm is way off. You are awake when you are supposed to be sleeping. The more time zones you travel, the more “off” your rhythm will be. Brain fog. Moody. Muscles ache.

Up for 24 hours; in Dublin

JET LAG… the dread of travel…because it SUCKS!

Is there a “cure?” Nope.

For us? Keep moving. Seriously.

Everyone has an opinion on how to beat jet lag. Google it. Ask your neighbor. Websites. Information Overload.

We are here to help you weed through the bain of travel existence!

“I refer to jet lag as ‘jet psychosis’ - there’s an old saying that the spirit cannot move faster than a camel.”

~Spalding Gray

If you have never experienced it, we will clue you in...

What does jet lag FEEL LIKE?

Get comfy!


No matter how much you try to get in a good frame of mind, with jet lag, it can be nearly impossible at times.

Think of traveling several time zones, having to go through customs, find your luggage, get to where you need to be, and not speak the local language.

Imagine the frustration topping that when you haven’t slept or had enough coffee running through your veins.

You feel like a ticking time bomb! #imgoingtoexplode

Jet lag anyone?

You wish everyone would get out of your way. Noises are sending electric shocks to the brain. Every little thing is getting on your nerves.

Traveling with teens while going through jetlag: read here on how to keep your sanity!

You just want to stop and never move again.

Smile? Don’t tell me to SMILE! Why is that person chewing so loudly with their mouth closed.

I’m sorry, I don’t speak French (yet) - give me my Americano coffee.


Oh the fun of jet lag!

Head hurts:

Trying to function through the day is going to be like a cat and mouse battle: Your head feels good for a moment, then you are blasted with a throbbing ache.

It lasts a bit and then dissipates. Here the pain comes again. Have fun with that all day.

Better get used to it. Pain relievers, water, coffee, and eating may help.. Emphasis on “may”. Think back to your partying drinking days.

Just in case you need a little relief, pack these pain relievers.

Remember the up-all-night drinking, no sleep, hungover and HAD to be somewhere the next day. Now take that feeling, multiply it by 100, and now you have a taste of jet lag.

Red-eye to Dublin. Sleep if you can.

Legs feel like concrete:

We say keep moving even when you feel like your feet weigh 500 pounds walking through thick mud or 5 feet of snow and you are 5’3’. If you stop, you are now frozen where you sit down.

Keep walking. Just do it even though you want to drop kick someone with your concrete feet because they are screaming and you know you will end up with a stupid blister. Keep walking.

The bottoms of your concrete sledgehammer feet will burn. If you don’t elevate your feet or keep moving on the flight, your poor ankles will swell up like huge balloons.

Stomach upset:

This one tends to get Natalie in trouble.

Thank you for the wet wipes! You never know where her stomach will lead!

Without getting enough (or any) sleep, the stomach is all out of whack. Cue the pitstop again… and again to the toilet. #itneverends

Stop! What is that sound? Oh it’s just my stomach moaning and groaning making the gurgle roller coaster noises.

Try eating. You may not want to, but eating protein may calm the stomach beast or at least quiet the embarrassing noises.

Discombobulated thoughts:

If you have landed in a country where they speak a different language, you may feel a little (I’m lying) hostile.

Apologize to the people traveling with you. You don’t mean what you said!

Have you ever woken from a nap and thought, “Where am I? What’s my name? What day is it?” It takes a minute and then, voila, you’re back to you.

Now take that feeling and add it to your already sloth-like moving body.

Yay! Thank you jet lag.

Make sure you have everything planned from the airport to your first destination. Try and think straight? 2+2= what? Thoughts are a gray haze.

You are looking for your next gate only to realize you were standing under a huge sign with an arrow pointing you in the right direction. The only way you saw the sign? After you went up the escalator, walked around for 30 minutes and then came back down to where you started because you realize you left your iPhone on the table under the said sign. Jet lag.

Some methods you may want to try:


It is full of iron and iron is good for the body. We keep telling ourselves that… really we just LOVE GUINNESS: a cure-all.

One of our “go-to” places for a Guinness that we look forward to is a pub inside London Heathrow airport.

We know once we land in the morning, we are headed to the quaint busy pub for a Guinness. It has become our Heathrow tradition!


Stay hydrated:

Drink plenty of water leading up to your departure day. Long flights can be dehydrating so load up on water prior to flying out.

Limit the alcohol:

Avoid too much alcohol (be mindful of the free wine on your flight).

Avoid too many in-flight movies:

Turn off the in-flight entertainment if you are flying overnight. After eating your meal, turn on the music, put in earplugs, and use the handy dandy eye mask that you get. Try and sleep. If you can’t sleep, try and relax.

Keep moving during the flight:

Walk the length of the airplane a few times throughout the flight. If you don’t, your feet will swell up like big balloons… speaking from experience. We have some yoga poses we will share in a future blog. Try these compression socks: helps keep the swelling down.

Severely jet lagged in Dublin

Jet lag will happen… how you cope, endure, and accept it is all on you.

Enjoy the journey!

Try our method of staying awake and walking.

Let us know how it worked; Share with the world.

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