11 Ways to (Naturally) Stay Awake When You Feel Jet Lagged AF

You’re jet lagged, you’re on the other side of the world, miles from home and anything familiar… and you want to stay awake for an appropriate amount of time so you can quickly adjust to your new, exotic timezone. 

We hear you.

Being jet lagged is the big drainer of international travel.

It keeps you awake at night when you’re supposed to be sleeping and it gets you up far too early to enjoy any of the sights, so you end up lying in the dark at 4am, scrolling on your phone... and then you’re falling asleep before aperitivo

Worse, when you are actually awake, you might feel the groggy effects of brain fog, irritability, memory lapses and general “malaise” (our fave new word). 

Sleeping pills and drugstore uppers aren’t welcome here at GlowJetter, but natural remedies are. 

So here, we have put together some of our favorite some natural methods to help you stay awake a little longer through the day even when you feel jet lagged AF.

1. Caffeine

Coffee is actually one of the few things proven to help when you're jet lagged. Brew it up. 

Much like when you’re at home, if you enjoy a strong coffee at the right time of day (think anytime before 2pm at your new timezone) you’ll enjoy the benefits of a few extra hours of wakefulness. 

Adjust your coffee dose to match your destination - an espresso al banco in Italy, a Turkish coffee in Istanbul, a Kopi luwak in Bali, or perhaps even a Starbucks in Seattle.  

Don’t drink coffee? A strong black or green tea will also give you a caffeine dose.

2. Move Around 

Get moving to awaken both your body and mind.

We suggest a light walk or some energy-inducing yogic Sun Salutations, Vinyasa flow style. Back bending yoga is also excellent for encouraging energy production - think Bridges, Wheels and Camels to get those chakras firing. If you’re not a familiar with yoga and none of the above makes sense, a YouTube tutorial or free local class is a good option. 

If you’d rather sweat it out, hardcore style find a well-worn track and strap on your running shoes.  It's a great way to see some sights.

3. Eat Something (Preferably Healthy) 

Indulging in the local cuisine is a surefire way to buy yourself some energy for the rest of the day.

Pistachio nuts in a pile

Ideally, you’ll go for something Low-GI and high protein, or carb-rich... think rice and meat, a pasta dish or a big hit of vegetables… Anything sugary (while delicious) will hit your system hard and disappear soon after, leaving you to deal with a sugar crash on top of your already frustrating jet lag. 

4. Take Adaptogenic Supplements 

Dietary supplements can be of real use during this phase of your jet lag. 

At GlowJetter, we like to use adaptogens to help us through the rigors of international travel. 

Hand pouring adaptogens from vitamin bottle

These super herbs will support your adrenal system to provide energy and help keep your system calm despite the stress of different environments, time zones and senses. 

Look for blends with Rhodiola Rosea, Ashwagandha and essential vitamins to give your adrenal system what it needs to get through the day. 



5. Do Something Novel 

Doing new things sparks a particular energetic brain chemistry that is hard to come by in the routine of daily life. 

Jeff Koons sculpture in an art gallery

Luckily, when you’re travelling to far flung destinations, there are lots of new experiences inherently in your surrounds. 

Throwing yourself into something that is completely different to your usual schtick can help energize you. 

6. Take a Nap (But Not for Long) 

Alright, if you’re so tired that you can’t keep your eyes open, it’s time to take a nap. Do it right and it will actually pay dividends... If you’re poolside on a sun lounger, we doubt anyone will even notice. (And if you happen to be in Spain, you’ll blend right in to Siesta time!)

Linen pillows and sheets

Here’s how to do it so you wake up feeling better, not worse: Don’t sleep for longer than an hour. 30-60 minutes is ideal.  

Hear us - you will probably want to sleep longer. Don’t do it! Get yourself up, set three alarms, drink some water.

7. Earth Yourself 

Whether you take to this one will depend on how experimental you like to get with life. Here’s the theory: the earth has a magnetic charge to it, as do we humans. Flying through the air at 500 mph for a long period of time screws with our connection that charge, disrupting us on a cellular level. 

Bare feet walking through grass

Upon landing, all you need to do to get back on the earth’s frequency, is walk barefoot in the grass for about 20 minutes. Some people simply sit in the grass, or some do yoga barefoot right on the earth. Fans of this method (including one of our Co-founders) swear by it. 

8. Have an interesting conversation 

Wake your mind up with a deep and interesting conversation. It’s fairly easy to do if you’re traveling - chatting with locals or fellow travellers and finding out firsthand about life in another part of the world is one of the great pleasures of international journeys. 

This should help to perk you up and keep you awake a bit longer. 



9. Get some sunlight into your eyes 

Woman looking over canal in Venice

The key here is to get unfiltered light - no sunglasses, just bright daylight. You’ll want at least 30 minutes of daytime exposure in the middle of the day to help reset your body clock.

Try an hour of sun exposure in the morning if you find you’re really jet lagged and if you're also not sleeping well because of it. 

10. Breathwork (aka Pranayama) 

Woman sitting in lotus position

Mediative breathwork can help generate a sort of internal fire in your body. The Breath of Fire is one particular technique renowned for cultivating energy and building heat. 

It comprises of a vigorous inhale and exhale through the nose while pumping your solar plexus.

Start by sitting up straight in a comfortable cross-legged position and do rounds of 30 seconds at a time with a rest in between. 

11. Hydrate 

Glass of ice water casting a shadow

It’s the cure-all secret to just about everything... are you hydrated? Make sure you drink plenty of water and/or herbal teas, especially right after disembarking from an international flight.

Even mild dehydration can affect your mood and energy levels and being caught on an airplane in less than 20% humidity is a huge contributing factor to both dehydration and being jet lagged.