There’s no set cure for jet lag – it’s just part and parcel of the travel experience. But there are a number of ways to assist and speed up your body clock’s process of readjusting to a different time zone. If you’re about to embark on a long international flight, then here are a few pointers to help you beat jet lag and make the most of your time in a new destination.
• Hydration. Jet lag is often most severe when a traveller is dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water while on the flight is a crucial step in preventing jet lag. It might be tempting to have a glass of vino or a beer midflight, but alcohol merely accelerates the dehydration process.
The recirculated air in the plane already dehydrates you, so swap that chardonnay for water. Coffee should also be avoided. Drinking as much water as possible while flying is the only way to prevent dehydration.
• Sleep patterns. When jet lag hits – or is anticipated – knowing when to sleep can be difficult. On the plane, set your watch to the local time at your destination. Then, attempt to match your sleep within the regular sleeping hours of the destination. Once you’ve arrived, avoid napping.If you must nap, then do so before 2pm in the afternoon. Otherwise, try as hard as possible to sleep at night and reclaim normal sleeping patterns.
• Natural light. Once you’ve arrived in your new destination, let your body absorb as much natural sunlight as possible. The body’s natural body clock is set by exposure to the sun, so the more you get, the quicker your body clock will get back to normal.
• Eating. Eating is one important way that indicates time to your body. Three meals a day – at meal times – will help get your body into a regular pattern.
Jet lag – and overcoming jet lag – is all part of the travel experience.