Jetlag: A disturbed sleep pattern, weakness and disorientation caused by travelling.
For those who are worried about it ruining the first few days of their dream long haul trip, don’t worry we have created a helpful guide for before and during your travels to help hugely reduce the effects of jetlag.
Before you travel
Change your sleep routine – People with rigid schedules suffer the most with jetlag. It’s best to be prepared and start getting your body used to gentle changes in sleep instead of a large leap. If you are travelling east go to bed earlier and if you’re headed west go to bed later.
Be smart with your flights – Get two holidays in one! Try to find a mid-way stopover as this will give your body more time to adjust and adapt. If this is inconvenient, plan your flights so you arrive in daylight since you will feel more like staying awake and fitting in with your new schedule.
On the flight
Avoid taking advantage of the trolley – As tempting as it is to start your holiday on the plane by taking advantage of mini bar trolley, the effect of alcohol at altitude increases tiredness and dehydration which will have a knock on effect to your arrival. If you are due to land at night also avoid caffeine drinks such as coffee, cola and energy drinks and instead drink plenty of water or camomile tea.
Create a sleep environment – Try to give yourself the best chance of getting to sleep by making sure you pack an eye mask and ear plugs to block out any distractions on the flight. Regular exercise during the day may also help you get to sleep later, but make sure you don’t exercise too late in the evening.
When you arrive
Anchor sleep - Try to get as much sleep in every 24 hours as you normally would. A minimum block of four hours’ sleep during the local night – known as “anchor sleep” – is thought to be necessary to help you adapt to a new time zone. If possible, make up the total sleep time by taking naps during the day.
Natural light - The cycle of light and dark is one of the most important factors in setting the body’s internal clock. Exposure to daylight at the destination will usually help you adapt to the new time zone faster. Shouldn’t be too difficult to keep to this rule whilst you’re sunbathing!