The groggy and exhausted feeling which we often experience when travelling between different time zones, most commonly referred to as jet lag can be one the biggest downsides to travelling
It can take a few days to overcome the feelings of being lethargic and exhausted which are particularly frustrating when you’re wanting to make the most of your time away as opposed to having to suffer the symptoms of jet lag for a few days.
However, there are lots of tips for beating jet lag which could certainly be worth a try if you’re planning on going away this summer.
1. Plan your flight times strategically
When booking the flights for your holiday, it could be more beneficial in preventing jet lag to plan your flights so that you reach your destination in the morning or afternoon.
This will help you to stay awake during the day, meaning that when night time approaches, you should hopefully be tired enough to ensure that you get a great night’s sleep and set you up well for feeling refreshed for your time away.
2. Prepare for the new time zone
Jet lag occurs due to our bodies inability to rapidly adjust to a new time zone. Scheduling your sleeping pattern ready for when you go away is, therefore, a great way of preparing your body for entering a new time zone.
When flying East, it’s beneficial to go to sleep an hour or two earlier than you usually would do, whereas if you’re travelling west, it’s best to stay up a little later than your usual routine allows.
The key to adjusting your sleep pattern is to do it gradually and over a few days before going away for maximum impact in helping your body to cope with the changing time zone.
3. Bag yourself a great night’s sleep the night before
Avoid a late night of running around packing last minute holiday items the night before you go away and make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
This will help to set you up well for the following day of travelling and to keep you wide awake for when you reach your location until you go to the bed in the evening.
4. Don’t sit for too long
The danger when flying is that you can be sitting down for very long periods of time, therefore it’s important that you regularly get up for a walk around during the flight in order to keep the blood circulating around the body which will instantly make you feel better.
5. Keep hydrated
Dehydration is just one of the common symptoms resulting from jet lag, more of which you can read about by heading to the NHS Choices.
Making sure that you keep well hydrated during the flight is important. Although it can be tempting as a desperate plea to stay awake, it’s important to avoid drinking caffeine or drinks which are high in sugar, as well as alcohol. These drinks will only limit your chances of sleeping and ultimately worsen your jet lag symptoms.
6. Alter your watch
Once onboard the plane, you could set your watch to the time of your destination so that you become more psychologically familiar to the new time zone which you will land in as suggested by SkyScanner’s tips for beating jet lag.
Probably best not to mess with your watch until you’re onboard the flight so as not to run the risk of you being late for the plane!
7. Lavender oil
Lavender essential oil has often been considered to help induce and enhance your quality of sleep.
According to Health.com’s article, a small scale study back in 2005 conducted by psychologists at Wesleyan University demonstrated that lavender could help to promote sleep and was actually a very mile sedative. After experiencing a good night’s sleep, it can help you to wake up and feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
Therefore, if you struggle with insomnia resulting from jet lag, it could be worth putting a few drops onto your pillow to help you fall asleep more quickly and soundly
8. Soak up the sun
Spending time in the sunshine or just generally being outside if you aren’t in a sunny location will help your body adjust to its new surroundings and reset its natural body clock.
As we can often experience the effects of jet lag the day after travelling (more so when you have been travelling from west to east), spending time outside will help to keep you awake and ensure that once you hit the pillow you get a great night’s sleep.
9. Do some exercise
Once you’ve reached your accommodation and unpacked, try and do some form of exercise. Even if it’s a brief stroll exploring your new surroundings or a few lengths in the pool, this will help to boost your endorphins and keep the blood circulating round the body after sitting down for so long the plane.
The exercise will also promote tiredness which should help when it comes to bedtime meaning that you will hopefully feel more energised the following day.
10. Avoid napping and going to bed too early
To help overcome the feelings of being overtired and sleep deprived, it’s best to avoid napping once you have reached your destination, no matter how tempting a quick forty winks might to be!
It’s also useful to try and stay awake for as long as possible as this means that when you eventually climb into bed, you should be able to sleep more easily and your body will acclimatise to the new time zone more quickly.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of our top tips for beating jet lag which will hopefully mean that when it comes to travelling abroad, you can ditch the dehydration, headaches, nausea and tiredness which often results from jet lag and enjoy your time away!