Flying is a regular part of life for business travelers, globe trotters, and wanderlust seekers. The airline industry was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns, essentially bringing air travel to a standstill.
As COVID lessens in severity, more industries—including airlines—are returning to entire operation. People are packing their bags and getting back on planes.
However, with the return of longer flights comes the return of its most well-known side effect—jet lag. People have been attempting to cure jet lag for decades, and now science says there is a natural solution: grounding.
What is jet lag?
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, jet lag is simply “when your body’s natural clock, or circadian rhythm, is disrupted by traveling to a different time zone.” The condition is temporary—until your body’s clock adjusts—but in the meantime, you may feel “off,” and your energy level may be below average.
International travel may not be back to full capacity yet; however domestic travel is slowly returning. Anyone who’s flown coast-to-coast has likely experienced jet lag at least once as the body adjusts to the 3-hour time difference.
Symptoms can include headache, lightheadedness, daytime sleepiness, and even gastrointestinal issues. Connecting with nature can help with jet lag related symptoms.
What is grounding (aka “earthing”)?
Grounding, or earthing, is the practice of establishing direct bodily contact with the earth. Think of your body as a battery, which needs to be recharged regularly. The earth acts as the charger and is brimming with energy—chock-full of electrons which can in many ways “reset” our bodies.
We take vacations and retreats to “reset and recharge” our mental and emotional batteries—earthing does the same for our physical selves, both at home and away.
In Season 1, Episode 2 of the Netflix series Down to Earth, Darin Olien shows Zac Ephron how to get grounded, and shares the many benefits after de-boarding the plane in France.
Generations ago, people spent far more time outside. The agrarian way of life was more common, with people working the land as farmers, gardeners, and other nature-based professions. As time has passed and our lifestyles have changed, we’ve gotten more disconnected from the earth.
Contemporary footwear is a big reason for this disconnect. Our feet are one of the most conducive areas of the body. Years ago, most shoes were made of animal hides and leather soles which were more conducive to channeling the earth’s energies.
Most footwear styles today have synthetic rubber or plastic soles. Both materials are poor conductors of energy, creating a barrier between our bodies and the earth’s surface.
Science has taken a closer look at the connection between nature and health through several studies. Grounding is the vital link between the earth and the human body and has been shown to alleviate a range of conditions, including insomnia, heart disease, inflammation, and anxiety.
Cardiologist and grounding advocate Dr. Stephen Sinatra has called grounding “the most important health discovery ever.” An article on the Grounded.com website (of which Dr. Sinatra is a co-founder), discusses the benefits of grounding as they relate to jet lag.
Best of all—grounding is free, simple, and versatile. Even if you travel extensively, you can practice grounding. Frequent flyers have likely tried everything to overcome jet lag.
Many jet setters have found grounding to be one of the most effective methods of overcoming this common condition. There is no special technique or routine to grounding. It can be as simple as walking barefoot in dirt, grass, or sand for 30 minutes.
Ways grounding can cure jet lag
The theory behind how grounding helps jet lag is simple. Essentially, touching the earth’s surface or even a tree, rock, or water for a few minutes will draw in the energy necessary to help reset your body’s inner clock.
Research shows grounding can also readjust your cortisol levels which supports you getting back on a regular sleep schedule and feeling less sluggish.
An article in Well + Good article also explains the science behind grounding as an effective method for overcoming jet lag. Don’t lose precious time on your vacation or business trip due to jet lag. With a regular grounding practice, you can alleviate or cure your symptoms wherever you are.
Grounding advocate and founder of the Bulletproof diet, Dave Asprey, has shared his own experiences with kicking jet lag for good on his blog.
Here are a few ways to rid yourself of jet lag by grounding:
- Get outside to your nearest green space. The sooner you get outside after reaching your destination, the better. No park nearby? Kick-off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass outside around the hotel grounds, or hug tree trunks to steady yourself while on a walk or hike. HARMONY783 grounding shoes make this particularly easy, just make sure you're on the optimal surfaces such as grass, sand, concrete, or gravel. Remember, you can’t get grounded on asphalt or blacktop!
- Head to the beach or waterfronts. The ocean is highly conducive – in addition to lakes, streams, and brooks. If you’re traveling anywhere near a beach, take a few minutes to dip your toes or take a swim.
- No time to go outside? No problem. Bring a grounding mat to lay on or slip a grounding pillowcase onto your hotel pillow while you’re in your room. You can find these products on Grounded.com.
Whether you enjoy flying or not, jet lag may be a part of the experience. Nature, as usual, is a great restorer.
With a few simple techniques that require little more than going outside and walking around barefoot, you can overcome jet lag and focus on your trip!