What is jet lag?
Jet lag covers a range of experiences your body may feel by adapting to a different time zone following a long flight. It can affect every one of all ages.
You may feel tired, lacking in energy and possible digestion problems.
Jet lag can vary depending on which time zones you are crossing.
People usually report more severe jet lag for easterly flights compared with westerly flights across the same number of time zones.
Jet lag is unavoidable but there are steps below which can make adjusting to the time difference a little better and will make sure you have a great start to your holiday. Likewise the same tips are great for your return flight.
Get good nights sleep before you travel – The night before your flight/holiday you are of course excited/apprehensive and may not be able to sleep. It is important that you try to get a good night’s sleep. You may think you can sleep on the flight but that is often not the case. By getting a good night’s sleep before your flight you will be able to manage the effects of jet lag much better.
Avoid alcohol – You may want to have a drink or two when waiting for your flight – perhaps nerves are kicking in or you want to celebrate your holiday earlier. You may also feel that as you are now on your flight that a drink or two will help you relax and make the time go quicker. However the effects of alcohol at a high altitude will make you more tired and also increase dehydration. So when you land you will not be able to shake off the jet lag.
Do not drink coffee – By avoiding caffeine you will be able to sleep better and therefore your recovery from Jet lag will be immensely improved. However, do make sure you drink plenty of water as your body will work better when it is hydrated. If you are not keen on just water why not bring some herbal tea bags with you for your flight and just then ask for hot water and place your tea bag in the hot water.
Avoid taking sleeping pills – You may think if I sleep through the flight I will be fine – generally a good sleep is fine but without sleeping pills.
By taking a sleeping pill they will not help your jet lag recovery and in fact you are more likely to feel fuzzy when you land at your destination. The best way is just to try to sleep naturally.
Try to have a stopover – If you can try to break your trip (this is ideal for long haul journeys. Your body will be able to adapt to the new routine. You also will be able to get a break, some fresh air and stretch your legs. Sometimes it is actually cheaper to break your journey. Check on the internet for savings or speak to your travel agent.
Keep active on your flight – When you are on your flight make sure you take regular walks around the cabin and make sure you stretch your arms and legs when you are sitting down. This can help reduce your risk of developing DVT.
Try to travel at a certain time – If you can try to get a flight that will arrive at your chosen destination in the late afternoon/early evening. When you are at your location do not try to go to sleep too early and likewise do not plan a late evening. I would recommend you try to go to bed around 10pm for the first evening (based on local time).
Adjust your body clock – When you arrive at your destination make sure you set your watch to the new time of your destination and this will certainly help you adjust to your new time zone much quicker.
By following these tips you should arrive at your destination bright and alert and ready to enjoy your well-earned holiday.