How to prevent jet lag?
Anyone who has crossed multiple time zones knows the power of our biological clock. The time shift disturbs our biorhythm heavily which is known as jet lag. Our body is confused and we feel like going to bed upon arrival to our new destination or we feel extremely active and can’t get any sleep in the middle of the night.
Studies have shown that it takes approximately one full day to recover for each time zone we travel through. So, it seems like jet lag is inevitable but can we at least do something to minimize the symptoms?
In this article we have listed down several tricks that are easy to follow and that helped us to overcome our long-haul flights:
BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT
Make sure you get enough sleep before departure
Too often our weeks prior to departure are too busy; we want to get the last things done at work, schedule in some last-minute dinners or drinks with friends and family or sometimes it’s the pre-holiday excitement that tires us. Make sure you leave home well rested. Getting a good night’s sleep will leave you better prepared to cope with jet lag.
DURING YOUR FLIGHT
Relax and get (some) sleep
Use the on-board entertainment to relax during the flight; most airlines offer a wide selection of movies. Or take a nap, especially if you’re flying west as you’ll have to stay up longer. If you fly east, you will be going to bed earlier so there’s no special need for a siesta during the flight.
Set your watch
Reset your watch as soon as you board your plane and change your mind accordingly. Remind yourself and your body to think in the new time zone.
Use an eye mask and earplugs
You might not be used to wearing an eye mask or earplugs but try it; it can help you get some sleep on the plane. Most airlines will provide you with a kit that includes both items.
Drink (plenty of) water
It’s important to keep your body hydrated during the flight and to avoid caffeine and alcohol. We always travel with a reusable water bottle and ask the air attendants to fill it up so we always have water at hand and don’t have to disturb any (sleeping) neighbors.
Stretch your legs or go to the bathroom every hour to keep the blood flowing. Some people wear a pair of flight socks to improve blood circulation.
AFTER YOUR FLIGHT
Adapt to the local time zone
Change your daily routine immediately to the local time and try to avoid a nap as it will disrupt your sleep and you will feel worse. Try to keep yourself busy; go outside for some fresh air (daylight helps to reset your body clock) and go to bed near the normal bedtime.
Did we mention to drink enough water? 😉
Stay hydrated and remember that alcohol will make you feel tired which will force you to stay up. This is probably the most useful advise; keep drinking but only water.
As always, do not hesitate to contact our travel consultants if you require further assistance. Safe travels! 🙂