Long haul holidays are amazing. They take you to far flung places like California, Australia and Thailand. They’re dream destinations and you might have been saving for years to be able to holiday in these amazing corners of the world. What can be rubbish about long haul holidays though is the jet lag. Time differences can put your body clock completely out of sync meaning that you’re falling asleep at lunchtime on holiday, simply because your body thinks it’s time to go to bed.
But jet lag can be defeated, or at least minimised, so that it doesn’t have a huge impact on your holiday. Or when you’re coming back home!
These are our tops tips to help you beat jet lag as soon as possible!
As soon as you step onto the plane, alter your watch to your new time zone. They usually announce this early on in the flight so listen out for that information or, alternatively, look the time up on your phone before you hop on board. This helps psychologically to get you into the time zone of where you’re going on holiday but will also help you get on track with eating and sleeping to your new local time too.
If you’re tired, or have a bad night’s sleep before you fly, jet lag has got one up on you already. Try and have a relaxing night before you fly and get a good, solid snooze in. That means you’re refreshed for your flight and can conquer jet lag head on when you land.
It might not always be possible but if you can, fly on a newer plane like an A350, A380 or a 787 Dreamliner. The science behind these new planes means that they are a lot quieter, therefore it’ll be a little easier to get to sleep and the cabins are also pressurised at a lower altitude. This means you’ll have more oxygen flowing around your body and won’t suffer as much from fatigue and headaches.
The lighting on these planes as well is also set to reduce jet lag. Ambient lighting moves according to the natural phases of the day which quickly gets your body used to the next time zone as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere.
On a long haul flight, it’s all too tempting to take advantage of the free bar. And while we’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy this little perk that comes with travelling half way around the world, you should bear in mind that alcohol has a greater impact when you’re at altitude. This means you feel less hydrated and more likely to experience jet lag, plus there’s the potential hangover you might suffer when you get off the plane. This is easily combatted though by drinking plenty of water which helps keep you hydrated and fresh. Yes, it may mean you’re moving past your seat neighbour to go to the toilet more often but it’s worth it to nip jet lag in the bud.
One way you can get a step ahead of jet lag while in your home country is to shift your sleep schedule slightly. If you’re flying west over to New York, try going to bed a couple of hours later and do the opposite if you’re flying east, go to bed a little earlier than you normally would a few days before you fly. It might not get you into sync with the new time zone straight away but it will definitely help.
Of course, there’s not one tried and tested method for beating jet leg but if you travel long haul quite often, lucky you, you’ve probably worked out what works best for you. If so, you might as well stick to it but hopefully some of the tips above will help as well.
Published on 15th December 2017
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