Long distance flights are rarely fun – fatigue, dehydration and jetlag can leave you disoriented and irritable. From shining light behind your knees to flying during certain times only to starving during the flight – there is no end to the number of suggested “remedies” to jetlag. Here are a few reasonable tips to beat jet lag and get the most out of your business trip or holiday.
Before the trip
If possible, try adjusting your sleep time to be closer to the newer time zone a week before you leave. This can help ease the harsh impact that large time differences can have on your body. If you can also alter your meal timings, this will further help in acclimatization.
Before you leave, make sure your trip is well-planned (we can help J), as stress can contribute to jet lag and exhaustion. Exercising and being in good spirits also help.
During the trip
As soon as you get onto the flight, set your watch to the destination time zone and sleep accordingly.
Drink plenty of hydrating fluids, and avoid alcohol.
Elevate your feet as much as possible during your flight.
And if you’re okay with getting a little attention during the flight, you can try some light exercises, such as lifts and walking the aisles. Of course, you have to be mindful of the passengers around you.
While sleeping on the plane, use earplugs, blindfolds, neck pillows and relaxing music, if needed. Take your shoes off and wear comfortable socks. Compression socks also work for some people.
You might also consider some medicines and sleeping aids to prevent jet lag, but only under the advice of a doctor.
After the trip
After arrival, stay awake till the next local bedtime. And then, sleep for adequate time so that you are well-rested. In case you are unable to sleep, try aromatherapy or a spa treatment.
Spend some time outdoors in sunlight on your first day. Light is a powerful natural cue that regulates sleeping hours, and spending time outside helps in better syncing your biological clock to the new time zone.
Do some simple exercises after you arrive at your destination, take a walk or go for a swim. When your body exercises, it gets the extra energy to help you adapt to changing time zones.
Hope you find these tips useful for your next long distance trip. And if you’ve got a different way of dealing with jet lag that works, we’d love to know.