30 Jun 10 Ways to Beat Jet Lag & Kick Start Your Holiday

There are around 15 million of the population who fly across different time zones, and with 500,000 people in the air at any given time, jet lag is, unfortunately, inevitable.

You’ll be quite familiar with the effects of jet lag if you’ve travelled across multiple time zones. Fatigue, dehydration, confusion, headaches, nausea, sweating and even memory loss are all common symptoms which we can often experience with jet lag.

The main cause of jetlag comes as a result of our bodies inability to quickly adjust to a different time zone. The world is divided into 24 different time zones and as our bodies’ natural 24-hour clock controls our 24-hour circadian rhythms, this means that our natural body clocks become affected when travelling across different time zones.

However, did you know that there are a number of tips you can try before you even step onto the plane which can help to prepare your body for the new time?

So whether it’s a family holiday, business trip or perhaps you’re going on an around the world adventure, here are ten of our top tips to combat jet lag so you can make the most of your trip away!

1. Plan your flight times carefully

As we already mentioned, there are a number of tips which can help to prevent or lessen the effects of jet lag even before you step on the plane. One of the first things you could think about is to plan your flight times strategically so that you reach you holiday destination either in the morning or afternoon.

The advantage of arriving at your destination earlier on in the day, as well as staying awake during your day of travelling is that when night-time approaches, your body should be ready for you to sleep meaning that you should drop off fairly quickly and bag yourself a great night’s sleep!

2. Fly a day early

As a number of clients who opt to use popular business apartments are away on business or corporate events, booking your flights a day or two earlier before your event could be a good idea.

This buys you a bit of time to adjust your body clock so that you’re feeling your best and refreshed ready for your business commitments.

3. Prepare your body in advance for the changing time zone

The cause of jet lag stems from the body’s difficulty in being able to adapt to a new time zone, therefore, preparing your body in advance before going away is a great way to beat the feeling of being overtired and groggy after arriving at your holiday destination.

For maximum effect, try and implement the changes to your sleeping pattern slowly and over a few days. If you’re flying east, try and get into the pattern of going to bed a couple of hours earlier than you’re used to, yet if you’ll be travelling west, then it’s better to try and stay up a couple of hours later.

4. Make sure you get a great night’s sleep the night before

Set yourself up well for the day of travelling and make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before you go away. To do this, ensure you’ve packed in advance and that you don’t leave sorting out travel plans or locating lost holiday items to the last minute.

Bagging yourself a great night’s sleep, will help to keep you awake and refreshed during the travelling so that you can stay awake until the following evening.

5. Have a plate of pasta the night before

Although you might be avoiding carbohydrates like the plague right before your holiday, especially if you’ve spent months working on your summer body, another top tip which you might not have thought about before is to have a plate of pasta or other carb-heavy food at dinnertime the night before going away.

According to Best Health’s tips for combatting jet lag, although scientists have been contemplating whether or not this can help to lessen the effects of jet lag, recent research on clock genes has actually revealed subtle evidence to suggest that carbohydrates could help to increase sleep, especially when flying west.

Although this theory still requires further research, it’s thought that carbs, also a source of tryptophan, can help to activate the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin. 

6. Keep hydrated

Pressurised and dry cabins on aeroplanes can rapidly cause dehydration which makes you feel sleepy. To avoid dehydration, make sure that you keep well hydrated throughout the flight.

Make sure to avoid drinking caffeinated liquids or drinks which are high in sugar. Alcohol won’t also help to cure dehydration, therefore, be sure to stay away from the gin and tonic and opt for water instead!

7. Keep cool

Getting a few hours sleep on the plane isn’t a bad idea at all, particularly if you’re travelling overnight. Using earplugs to block out the surrounding sound as well as an eye mask will help to make sleeping easier during the flight.

Furthermore, as a lower temperature helps to lower your body’s core temperature, this will help signal that it’s time to go to sleep, therefore, turn up the air conditioning and try not to wear clothes which will make you too hot. A pillow and light blanket should help to keep you warm enough.

8. Avoid aeroplane food

Although the smell of hot cooked food making its way down the plane may to be too hard to resist, it’s best to try and avoid eating meals on the aeroplane unless you’re on a longer flight.

This is due to the reason that food is another signal which our body’s internal clock uses. As aeroplane food is usually set to the time in which you’re travelling from, this won’t be much help in trying to reset your internal clock to the new time zone. Snacking is fine, but try if you can to avoid meals until you’ve landed!

9. Exercise and soak up the sunshine!

Once you have landed and reached your destination, a great way to refresh your body as well as to try and keep you awake until bedtime is to go and do some exercise. A quick dip in the pool or leisurely stroll to become familiar with your surroundings will help to keep you feeling fresh and awake. After being sitting for so long, it’s also a great way to boost your endorphins and keep the blood circulating around the body.

10. Avoid napping or going to bed early

A lot of the pre-travelling preparation you have done comes down to this point, therefore, don’t spoil it all by napping as soon as you get to your apartment or going to bed too early in the evening. It’s important that you try and stick to the new time zone of your holiday destination. This will help your body’s natural clock to adjust to the time zone more quickly meaning that you can enjoy the rest of your holiday feeling rejuvenated and energised.

It’s important to make the most of your time away when going on holiday, particularly for those of us who don’t get the opportunity to go away that often, therefore if you’re planning a trip away this summer then why not try our top ten tips for beating jet lag and see if you can ditch the travel fatigue and grogginess in favour of feeling revitalised and ready to enjoy the holiday!

Grace Tebbutt

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