Flying may seem easier than traveling by car, but it comes with its own challenges. From dragging your suitcase from the house to and from the airport, there are obvious reasons that you crave rest and stability.
In this post, I’ll investigate why flying makes you tired and what to do in every scenario. Make sure you keep reading.
Why does flying make you tired?
The humidity levels in airplane cabins are very low because a better percentage of the air circulating in the cabins comes from outside.
The external air may lack enough moisture. As a result, your throat, skin, and nose begin to feel dry, leading to exhaustion.
What to do
The best way to avoid dehydration when flying is to pack a water bottle in your carry-on bag and refill it before boarding the plane.
This way, you won’t have to rely on the drinks served from the beverages cart that may not be enough to take you through the long flight.
If you’re worried about your eyes and throat drying up, pack an eye or nasal spray and a small lotion bottle for your skin.
Exposure to germs
Many travelers believe the air circulation in the cabins will make them sick, but most commercial airlines feature advanced filtering systems for removing viruses, bacteria, and fungi from the air.
Therefore, your falling sick may not be due to contaminated air but proximity to people and the germs they carry.
Most germs hide in seatbelt buckles, tray tables, and other surfaces you frequently touch while on the plane.
What to do
The surest way to be safe from germs is by getting a flu shot.
If that’s not possible, consider carrying a small hand sanitizer bottle and frequently washing your hands throughout the journey.
Bloating and indigestion
Eating a large meal before leaving home or getting on the plane is not wise.
It can cause bloating and indigestion because of low air levels in the plane, which may allow gas levels to fluctuate in your stomach. This may make you feel full and uncomfortable.
The other cause of jet belly or bloating is sitting in a plane for too long while wearing high waist jeans that cut off your digestion.
What to do
There are several things you could do to combat bloating.
First, ensure you don’t eat greasy foods when you have a flight to catch in an hour or two.
Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially around the waist, so you don’t experience indigestion.
Also, try doing a couple of laps while flying, especially if your journey is long.
Last but not least, drink enough water.
Planning a trip is not easy. It comes with a lot of worrying about where you are going, the headache of packing, and airport check-ins.
All these are enough reasons to make you feel fatigued after flying. You need to avoid the anxiety that comes with traveling if you want to beat stress.
What to do
One of the best ways to do this is by planning your trip early.
Ensure you understand your itinerary well and pack everything you need a few days before you travel.
Arrive at the airport a few hours before your flight time. If you’re worried about losing your luggage, consider shipping it to your destination before arrival.
Low energy levels
The air pressure is usually denser at higher altitudes. If you keep going higher, you will experience oxygen insufficiency, which can lead to shortness of breath or feeling drained when you arrive at your destination.
What to do
Hydration is the number one thing to do to maintain your energy levels.
Also, avoid sitting for too long. Get up, stretch, and walk around.
Picking your feet off the ground is also helpful in promoting better blood flow.
Lastly, keep your home-time zone sleep schedule even when traveling to a different time zone.
What are the signs of travel fatigue?
The most common signs of travel fatigue include:
- Daytime sleepiness: This is the main sign of travel fatigue. You will feel tired and drowsy during the day even when you normally don’t.
- Sleeping problems: Your sleeping pattern changes when traveling, so you may find it hard to fall asleep. Fragmented sleep is also another symptom of travel fatigue.
- Poor physical functionality: Some days, your body may feel tired and slow, which is worth paying attention to.
- Unstable thinking: This is not a common sign for many, as it usually occurs in the elderly. You will experience problems with being attentive or remembering things. Some people will feel like their thinking has been slowed.
- General body malaise: Travel fatigue may manifest in feelings of discomfort, uneasiness, or sickness.
- Emotional problems: Some people with travel fatigue issues will manifest mood swings and irritability. They may also be withdrawn for a while.
- Seizures or sleep paralysis: This symptom is very rare, but sometimes one’s sleep architecture may be layered, leading to nighttime seizures or sleep paralysis.
- Stomach Problems: Travel fatigue can cause gastrointestinal issues like nausea and vomiting.
The above travel fatigue symptoms may manifest immediately after your arrival or a few days later. The fatigue may also extend for weeks depending on your health and the trip details.
Are there long-term consequences of travel fatigue?
Travel fatigue is usually a short-term problem that may vanish once the body adjusts to the local time.
Nevertheless, people who frequently travel long distances like flight attendants, pilots, or business travelers may suffer chronic problems due to travel fatigue.
How to overcome travel fatigue
Here are some helpful tips on how to recover from travel fatigue.
Find a place and stay
The only way you can enjoy a good journey is by being physically and emotionally in good shape.
Traveling by plane for a long time and moving from one place to another may lead to extreme travel fatigue.
I recommend you find a place that will make you feel like you are in your local area the first days after your arrival. This will help you recover from travel fatigue issues without missing your home as much.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is critical for the wellbeing of any traveler. Ensure your sleep routines are not interfered with when traveling, no matter how sweet the company of family or friends is.
Understand your sleep patterns, adhere to them, and get enough sleep whether traveling for a day or more.
Eat enough fruits and veggies
I understand it’s challenging to enjoy a healthy diet when traveling, but it’s possible if you try.
Eat healthily to get nutrients, minerals, and vitamins like vitamin B, which is good for physical and emotional stability.
Chat with friends and family
Travel loneliness can worsen your situation, so I encourage you to connect with friends and family whenever you feel vulnerable.
Don’t feel guilty
Taking travel fatigue as a natural occurrence helps you overcome it faster.
When traveling, you will sometimes face situations that are beyond you. This could be difficulty in finding a nice place to stay or a good meal. That is fine, and you don’t have to beat yourself up for it.
If you have finally settled down and feel like treating yourself to a good dining experience or sauna, watching movies, or whatever works for you, go for it without feeling bad about it.