Pack Your Bags and Kiss Goodbye to Jet Lag
Travelling between time zones can really take its toll on you, both emotionally and physically. Most people know this feeling as ‘jet lag’, which can upset your usual sleep patterns and leave you feeling weak and disoriented. The further east or west you travel, the bigger the time difference and therefore, the worse the effects. Whether you’re travelling on business, or for a holiday in the sun, no-one wants to arrive at their destination feeling exhausted; you needn’t be a victim if you read our top 6 tips on how to beat jet lag:
1. Start preparing for your trip several days before you leave. If you’re travelling east, go to bed a couple of hours earlier each night, and get up earlier in the morning. Likewise, if you’re travelling west, go to bed a few hours later, and arise earlier. This will help your body start to adjust to the forthcoming time change.
2. Consider booking into an airport hotel before you go. That way you won’t have to worry about getting up extra early to travel to the airport. Many hotels offer airport parking and transfers that will help reduce the stress of an early morning flight.
3. On the plane journey, set your watch to the new time zone as soon as you board. Try to time your in-flight meal with the new local time for breakfast, lunch or dinner and only go to sleep at your ‘new’ bedtime. If this feels uncomfortable, make use of eyeshades and/or earplugs to help emulate night-time conditions. You could also try listening to relaxing music to help you nod off. Try to avoid sleeping aid medication as this only tricks the body into resting and will not help you long-term.
4. It is really important to stay hydrated during your flight, as not doing so can increase the effects of jet lag. So, drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) and avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks.
5. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, force yourself to eat and sleep according to local times, even if this means having to take the odd extra nap and occasional snack. Getting out and about in the daylight hours will also help your body clock get accustomed to the new time zone.
6. On the last day of your trip, read these instructions again and start applying them in reverse to prepare you for the trip back home and ensure you acclimatise to your former time zone as painlessly as possible.
If you put these 6 tips to beat jet lag into practice, hopefully your next trip abroad should be a perkier and more positive experience.
Article by Kris Bannister who writes for FHR who provide travel services across the UK including Gatwick, Heathrow and Edinburgh airport parking.