My family just returned from an amazing spring break trip! We spent almost two weeks exploring Greece and it was one of the best vacations we have taken in a long time.
However, when packing and planning for the trip, I began to wonder how I could use essential oils to help with jet lag. Greece is 8 hours ahead of Chicago and there is nothing fun about being jet lagged, especially when traveling with a child.
Being tired from travel is one thing. Being jet lag is another! Jet lag differs from just being tired. According to Web MD, jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder when you cross 2 or more time zones. It can take days to get back to normal. The body's circadian rythms get all thrown off, making your internal clock not match up with external time.
How to Help Minimize Jet Lag
1. Adapt to new time schedule during your flight. Set your clock to the time zone you are traveling to, and try to do what you would do then. Sleep when it is night and try to stay awake when it is light.
Our flight for London left at 10 pm. We did just this. We boarded the flight, read for a bit and all 3 of us fell fast asleep. Granted it is not the most comfortable sleep all cramped in coach and the flight is only 7 hours, so we were really asleep for 4-5 hours but that helped us tremendously! (and I LOVED my new Sky Rest travel pillow!! )
2. Stay hydrated!! Flying can be very dehydrating to your body. By drinking a lot of water (and staying away from alcohol and caffeine), your body will be in better shape to deal with the time change.
3. When arriving to your destination, don't just go to sleep…no matter how tired you are! If it is light out, try to stay awake! This is easier said than done, but a 4 hour nap at 11 am will crush you.
For us, luckily we had a connection in London to Athens so were really forced to stay awake. During the 3 1/2 hour flight to Athens, we took small naps (no more than 45 minutes) and just forced ourselves awake. My daughter takes things very seriously, so when I was nodding off a bit after my nap, she elbowed me, ‘MOM…we can't sleep now!!'. lol!
Using Essential Oils for Jet Lag
This was the first year I added Young Living Essential Oils to the my jet lag support and I will say, I think they supported our jet leg quite nicely.
When I travel across a lot of time zones, I take the above advice seriously. I try to get on the local time as soon as I arrive. I sleep when it is dark and force myself awake when it is light. I drink gobs and gobs of water. I limit caffeine and alcohol. I HATE being jet lagged. Tired is fine. Up at 2 am, crashing at 2 pm…no thank you!
Oils for Sleep:
I researched using essential oils for jet lag before our trip and got a lot of great information! For sleeping (both on the plane and once we arrived at our hotel), I used a combination of Valerian, Cedarwood, Vetiver and Lavender that I had premixed in a 5ml essential oil bottle that I had reused. I used 30 drops lavender, 30 drops cedarwood, 30 drops vetiver and 10 drops valerian. I also made a 10% dilution of this blend and mixed with a carrier oil.
On the plane, I placed a few drops of the blend on our travel pillows and inhaled deeply. I also rubbed the diluted blend on my and my daughter's feet.
While traveling, I also diffused this blend nightly and used the foot rub as well.
I also took Young Living's supplement SleepEssence on the plane and for the first two nights in Athens and upon our return home. SleepEssence contains four powerful Young Living Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils that have unique sleep-enhancing properties in a softgel vegetarian capsule for easy ingestion. Combining lavender, vetiver, valerian, and Ruta graveolens essential oils with the hormone melatonin—a well-known sleep aid—SleepEssence is a natural way to enable a full night's rest.
We slept fine on the plane and once we arrived in Athens. Upon arriving home in Chicago, we slept well too, although we woke up a little earlier than normal for us. All in all, we slept very well.
Oils for Staying Hydrated
Oils for Staying Awake/Focused
I used several oils for when we were tired or feeling out of sorts with our internal clock. Brain Power, Clarity, Frankincense, and En-R-Gee were lifesavers on this trip.
Whenever we felt tired (and it was still daylight), I would rub an oil on our necks and inhale from the bottle. I diffused Frankincense. I would rub En-R-Gee on our wrists and would inhale Brain Power and/or Clarity straight from the bottle as well.
My husband and I also used NingXia Nitro when I was feeling a bit tired. I like the boost of energy it gives you without the jitterniess of a strong coffee. Now, that being said, I do occasionally drink coffee so had a cup each morning and sometimes a nice afternoon cup as we toured and took a break at pretty cafes!
Upon returning home to Chicago (landing at 1:30 pm after traveling for about 12 hours), I constantly diffused those oils in varying combinations to help us stay alert. It worked and, while we did go to bed for the night early (8 pm!!), we did feel somewhat awake and were able to get unpacked and sorted out after our trip.
Oils are Amazing!
I love being able to find yet another purpose for these amazing oils! I continue to be blown away at what you can use Young Living Essential Oils for.
I really can't say that we experienced very serious jet lag on our trip or once we were home. The first couple days home from the trip, while we slept well, we all still felt a bit tired and worn out and went to bed earlier than normal but besides that, there were no 2 am wake ups where we couldn't go back to sleep. No crashing at 2 pm. I use essential oils everyday for everything else. Now they will be a regular part of my jet lag routine too!!!
New to essential oils?
Check out this great class Kelly recorded for you: Essential Oils 101 From Your Couch!
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Here are a few more pictures from our trip! If you have never been, Greece is an amazing place to visit! We were blown away!!