The dreaded jet lag! We all know that long journeys can really take it out of you and skipping through different time zones you can be left feeling pretty worse for wear.
Although there is no sure fire way to beat jet lag there are ways in which you can help yourself.
Before the Journey
Make sure you get a good nights sleep before you travel so you’re fully rested and therefore better able to face the change. If you’re flying overnight and you can get a bit of sleep on the flight, it will help you to stay up until night time once you arrive at your destination.
It’s not always possible but if you can factor in a stop over in your flight it will make it easier to adjust to the time change making you less tired when you arrive.
A few days before you travel, start getting up and going to bed earlier (if you’re travelling east) or later (if you’re travelling west). During the flight, try to eat and sleep according to your destination’s local time.
During the Flight
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, keep hydrated! Dehydration can intensify the effects of jet lag so sip water and avoid anything that contains caffine which will disrupt your sleep pattern.
Try to get some sleep on the plane, using earplugs and eye masks will help towards sleeping conditions and being active during the day will also help you sleep later on.
Personally, we don’t take sleeping medication but there are some people that do prefer to use this method. Sleeping medication is not generally recommended as it doesn’t help your body to adjust naturally to a new sleeping pattern.
When you Arrive
Try to get as much sleep in every 24 hours as you normally would. The cycle of light and dark is one of the most important factors in setting the body’s internal clock. Exposure to daylight at the destination will usually help you adapt to the new time zone faster.
For those doing shorter trips such as 3 or 4 days you may benefit from remaining on ‘home time’ for example time activities such as sleeping and eating to occur at the times they would have occurred at home. This should minimise disruption to the normal sleep-wake cycle although this is not always practical.