7 Pocket-Sized Products to Help You Battle Jet Lag

No matter how excited you are to go on vacation or see a new city, jet leg is nearly impossible to escape. These products may help you avoid the worst jet lag symptoms on your next trip.

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February 19, 2019

Jet lag is the invasive species of emotions. Never welcome and difficult to get rid of, this stowaway can ruin the first few days of any trip, luring you back under the covers instead of setting you free to explore.

The bad news is that few products promising to erase the effects of jet lag work even remotely as well as they say they will. Nothing is as effective as giving your body time to adjust and get a good night's sleep. And not even a million bucks can buy you more time.

But the good news? Thankfully, there are a few good things out there that can help you speed up your transition time by helping you relax, de-stress and fall asleep at the right time on the plane and in the first few nights of your trip when you wake up hours before the city you're visiting.

Here are a few things that might help your internal time zone shift on your next vacation.

Grace & Stella

When Grace & Stella says these masks are like "an energy drink for your eyes," they're not fibbing. If you're exhausted and need a little pick-me-up, find a quiet place (the darker, the better), apply the masks, close your eyes and relax for 10 to 15 minutes. Putting cool patches under your eyes, right where you feel the exhaustion, helps you wake up and keep going. It works even better if you store them in the fridge.

BUY IT: Grace & Stella, $21.95 (pack of 12 pairs)


Your body naturally makes melatonin at night, the hormone that regulates when you sleep. When your internal clock is out of whack because you've zipped across the world, part of the problem is that you're not making melatonin when you need it. Taking a supplement like this one when it's almost time for bed in your new time zone can help you fall asleep more easily and wake better rested in the morning. Consider consulting a doctor or trying it out at home first to make sure you know how it affects you. Taking too much can make you feel groggy in the morning rather than aiding you in waking well-rested. Legal Nomads blogger Jodi Ettenberg, who regularly travels for months at a time, wrote in a recent post that even a 3mg pill is far more than she usually needs. Several days before she travels across time zones, she'll begin a routine in which she tries to shift her sleep schedule's time zone by taking melatonin around bedtime in her destination city.

BUY IT: Walmart, $7.24 (Originally $8.72)


Planes are hardly relaxing or quiet places, but if you need help unwinding to get some rest on board before landing in your destination, this tiny, pocket-sized diffuser pod can deliver the aromatherapy you need whenever you need it. It's available in scents including rose, lavender and eucalyptus.

BUY IT: Anthropologie, $25


Instead of getting alcohol or a sugary drink on the plane, ask for a cup of hot water and brew your own tea. Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea has been helping the world relax and fall asleep for decades. If it works for you, bring plenty for unwinding in your hotel room in the evenings.

BUY IT: Walmart, $6.25 (for 3 boxes with 20 tea bags each)


As much fun as free alcohol sounds, drinking at altitude is one of the worst things you can do if you're trying to prevent jet lag. Stay hydrated with pure water instead. Vapur's collapsible 1-liter bottle folds down small enough to fit in a pocket when it's empty, so you can fill it up in the airport and drink, single-use plastic-free, all flight long.

BUY IT: Amazon, $13.99

Volition Beauty

Plane air is notoriously dry (and stale). Strike raw, flaky skin from the list of things to worry about when you're wandering through the airport feeling like a zombie. By moisturizing mid-flight, you can protect your skin and wake up feeling refreshed rather than like you've fallen asleep in a desert. This leave-on mask, from Volition Beauty, absorbs well into your skin like a moisturizer and comes in a travel-friendly size.

BUY IT: Volition Beauty, $35


Keeping up with your regular nightly routine (even if it's at a strange hour) might help you trick yourself into settling in for more than a catnap on the plane. Put away all your electronics, brush your teeth, wash your face, and take off your shoes or slide into slippers. Ursa Major's Face Tonic can be used as an energizing spritz throughout the day or as a versatile morning and evening cleanser.

BUY IT: Dermstore, $14

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