You can avoid jet lag by preparing properly for your flight and by getting enough rest during your flight. Once you land, make sure you expose yourself to natural sunlight and follow the local time to avoid jet lag.
What causes Jet Lag?
Our bodies are naturally programmed to do a number of things throughout a 24-hour period, such as eating and sleeping. When you’re flying across time zones, it can take your body some time to adjust.
What does Jet Lag cause?
Jet lag can cause temporary issues like insomnia, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, and difficulty in concentrating.
Are there ways to avoid Jet Lag?
Yes, there are! Check out our top 10 recommended ways to avoid jet lag.
10 Recommended Ways to Avoid Jet Lag
1). Adjust your sleep and eating schedule.
Do this a few days to a week before you are set to fly. If you are travelling east, go to bed one hour earlier each night in the two to three days leading up to your departure. If you are travelling west, go to bed one hour later in the two to three days before your flight. This will give your body a chance to gradually adjust to your new time zone when you land in your destination.
2). Get enough sleep before you fly.
Make sure you get several nights of good, quality sleep leading up to your flight. Being sleep deprived when you board the plane will make your jet lag much worse. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Do calming activities before bed, and make your sleep space cosy and quiet to help you get to sleep. You may also create a sleep routine in the week leading up to your flight to prepare.
3). Avoid arriving at night.
If possible, opt for a flight which arrives in daylight. This will make it easier to stay awake – you’ll be much more tempted to get out and explore if the sun’s shining and you’ve got a full day ahead of you. Places like Dubai have lovely tourist attractions.
Only fly to destinations within the Greenwich Meridian – destinations with the most similar time zones to the UK. Options include France and Spain and (for the more adventurous) Togo, Ghana and some parts of Antarctica.
4). Avoid coffee and alcohol 12 hours before your flight.
Drinking coffee and alcohol before you fly can make your jet lag much worse once you land. Try to stay away from coffee and alcohol 12 hours before you are set to fly. Instead, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water leading up to your flight.
Pack a water bottle in your handbag so you can sip water while you are at the airport waiting for your flight. You can also get the water bottle filled on the plane so you can stay hydrated while in the air.
5). Avoid the Bar.
Tempting though it is to kick off your holiday with a pre-flight gin and tonic, the effects of alcohol at altitude will increase tiredness and cause dehydration, making it even harder to beat the inevitable jet lag.
6). Say no to sleeping pills.
Relying on sleeping pills for long-haul flights is a bad idea. They’re not worth it. They’ll do nothing to assist your recovery from jet lag and will just leave you feeling fuzzy when you land. If you’re in need of some shut-eye, do it the natural way. Unlimited, free hot water is one of the best in-flight freebies, so why not bring your own herbal tea bags?
7). Bring a pillow and an eye mask.
To prevent jet lag, it’s important that you get enough sleep on the plane. Pack a travel pillow and an eye mask to make sleeping on the flight easier. Bring a blanket or a big scarf that you can use to stay warm while you sleep. You can also pack headphones or earplugs to block out noise or distractions on the flight.
8). Set your watch.
When you get on the plane, set your watch to the time of your destination to get yourself psychologically aligned. A warning: don’t get clever and do this beforehand, unless you want to end up with the world’s most ridiculous excuse for missing your flight.
9). Go outside once you land.
Once you get to your destination, it is important that you get enough exposure to natural sunlight. Light exposure helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and make it easier for you to adjust to your new location. If you have travelled westward, try to go outside in the early evening so you get exposed to light at night. If you have travelled eastward, go outside in the morning so you get exposed to light early in the day.
10). Avoid going outside if you’ve travelled more than eight time zones.
The one exception to the above rule is if you have travelled more than eight time zones from your original time zone. If you have travelled more than eight time zones to the east, wear sunglasses and stay away from bright light in the morning. Then, try to get as much sunlight as possible in the late afternoon.
In conclusion, there is no fixed time to recover from jet lag. Jet lag affects different people in varying ways based on our age, state of health and stress levels, diet and so on. But as they say, Prevention is better than Cure. Do you have other tips on how to prevent jet lag? Kindly drop a comment below.