For many travellers, jet lag is quite an unpleasant and unwanted experience. Although you may not be able to completely rid yourself of jet lag, the following tips can certainly help to ease its unwanted effects.
Posted On August 30, 2016 Posted By Andy Buerckner
WHAT IS JET LAG?
The official definition is the disruption of our internal circadian clock (the part of our brain that helps us differentiate between day and night) when we travel between time zones. This disruption makes it difficult to fight overwhelming fatigue, limits our ability to fall asleep at a regular time and affects our ability to concentrate and function. In our experience, that may mean being unable to fight off the urge to sleep while out at lunch or snapping awake at 3 am unable to get back to sleep.
BEFORE YOU GO
IF YOU’RE TRAVELLING EAST
Prepare by going to bed earlier than you normally would at least 2-3 days before you fly.
IF YOU’RE TRAVELLING WEST
Prepare by going to bed later than you normally would at least 2-3 days before you fly.
EAT MEALS CLOSER TO THE TIME YOU WOULD AT YOUR DESTINATION
We're not asking you to eat breakfast at 2 am but try to eat closer to meal times at your destination.
DECREASE STRESS BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT
We know travelling can be quite stressful, but even taking some time out to meditate and exercise will help your body to feel more relaxed when you get on the plane.
DRINK WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER
Drink plenty of it before you go, while you’re on the plane and when you’re at your destination.
ON THE FLIGHT
Wear comfortable clothing to help you feel as relaxed as possible on the plane.
AVOID ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE
Alcohol and caffeine disrupt your ability fall asleep and prohibit you from feeling completely rested and relaxed. They are both also diuretics which can make you quite dehydrated.
AVOID LIGHT FROM SCREENS IF YOU WANT TO SLEEP
The inflight entertainment, your iPhone, Android, laptop, E-reader, the list goes on. This harsh light confuses your brain into thinking it's daytime and makes it difficult to fall asleep.
Note for iPhone users: the newest update includes a night mode that doesn’t emit the harsh blue light and changes it to a softer yellow light.
ADJUST YOUR PHONE TIME
Change the time to the time at your destination as soon as your board the plane.
GET SOME REST
Although you may not be able to sleep, keep your eyes closed as much as you can. If it's night-time at the destination you’re travelling to, try to plan sleep as if the time is that of the destination. Noise cancelling headphones and eye masks are recommended for those that cannot block out distractions.
ONCE YOU’RE THERE
Napping as soon as you arrive. It only makes the jet lag worse.
IF YOU’VE TRAVELLING WEST
Get morning light when you arrive at your new destination and avoid afternoon light to keep your body in sync.
IF YOU’VE TRAVELLING EAST
Do the opposite and enjoy the afternoon sun.
NOTE: If you’re travelling for less than 4 days, it’s recommended that you keep to your routine as you would at your home destination.