Top tips: How to fight jet lag after a long-haul flight
Suffering from jet lag can ruin a huge chunk of your holiday – potentially lasting several days before you are fully adjusted to the new time zone you have reached. It can cause sleep disturbance; trouble falling asleep as well as remaining asleep as well as headaches, drowsiness and general fatigue.
Jet lag can affect people of all ages – so it’s important you look out for the friends or family you’re travelling with and support them if they seem to be suffering.
While the symptoms of jet lag will pass after a few days without the need for treatment, there are ways to minimalise the symptoms. For those anxious about suffering from jet lag, check out our top tips to reduce the effects of the condition.
Crossing one or two time zones doesn’t usually cause jet lag, but crossing three or more is likely to do so. Recovering depends on the number of time zones you have crossed – usually your body will adjust to the new time zone at the rate of one or two time zoned each day.
Ensure everyone in your travelling party is aware of this so individuals can try and reduce the effects – unfortunately it’s not possible to prevent the condition. Make sure you get a good amount of sleep before you fly so your body is well-rested and ready for the changes to come!
Arrive in daylight
If you’re prone to suffering from jet lag, plan your flights so you arrive in daylight if possible. This will help you stay active once you’ve arrived at your final destination and not be tempted to take a nap and stop your body from adjusting to the new time zone.
If you need to land in the evening, avoid drinking coffee, energy drinks or any other drinks which contain caffeine, as well as alcohol.
Set the time
When you get on the plane, set your watch, phone, tablets etc to the new time zone to help you adjust and remind you when you should be eating and sleeping on arrival.
Eat and sleep at the correct times
When you arrive at your holiday destination, eat and drink at the correct times for your new time zone – not at the time you usually do so at home. Make sure to eat three meals a day to help your body adjust, even if it means having breakfast much earlier or later than usual! Setting an alarm for the first couple of days may help you ensure you’re doing so.
Avoid napping on arrival
A long-haul flight can make you feel tired once you’ve finally reached your destination but it’s important to avoid napping as soon you arrived. Push through the tiredness to give yourself the best chance of sleeping at the correct local time and not waking up in the middle of the night.
Exposing yourself to natural daylight is a great way to help your body properly adjust to the new time zone, so try and remain active outdoors when you arrive.
Keep calm and stay hydrated
Stress and dehydration can aggravate the symptoms of jet lag considerably so try and stay calm and happy (after all, you are on holiday!) and drink lots of water.