Give Jet Lag the Slip

One simple tip could help you get in synch with the time zone you’re in.

By Liz Robins

Move over, melatonin. Grounding is the latest jet-lag remedy gaining traction with travelers, including award-winning British actress and Moonlight star Naomie Harris, who deemed it one of her two post-flight ‘absolute musts’ in a recent Instagram post.

Grounding (or earthing) refers to making direct contact with the surface of the earth – by walking barefoot (or sitting or lying) on grass, sand, soil or damp concrete. Grounding yourself after a long flight is a natural, easy approach to combating jet lag and its energy-sapping effects.

So how could this simple strategy be effective? Martin Zucker, co-author (with Clint Ober and Dr. Steven T Sinatra, M.D.) of Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!, explains.

“[Our theory is that,] at any point on the planet, the earth’s surface electric potential fluctuates according to the position of the sun and moon,” Zucker says. “Grounding yourself after a long flight essentially resets your inner clockwork – including your circadian rhythm – to ‘local time’ on the ground, and thus helps to reduce the jet lag.”

To try it for yourself, take a barefoot stroll or lounge in a park (with your bare feet and hands on the grass) soon after arriving in a new destination. Twenty to 30 minutes with bare feet on the grass is ideal. Alternately, walk on the beach or swim in the sea (as if you needed coaxing). Saltwater is highly conductive, so swimming in it is said to expose you to the earth’s electrical charge, too.

Another option is to use a conductive, travel grounding mat in your hotel room and when you return home.* You can sit, lie or rest your bare feet on it to reap the potential benefits, then roll it up to easily fit in your suitcase.

The mat connects via a ground cord to an electrical outlet’s ground port, which is connected to a ground rod driven deep into the earth beneath your home or hotel. When connected, the mat is designed to automatically equalize with the earth and maintain its natural surface charge. (Each mat comes with a standard U.S.- type outlet checker and ground cord, and adapters for most other countries  are also available.)

However you choose to ground yourself, if you’re like the frequent fliers who swear by it, you’ll likely spend less time battling jet lag and more time savoring your journeys.  

*Consult your doctor first if you’re dealing with a medical condition.

Learn more about grounding and check out grounding products available on Jiyo.