Discover how to stop jet lag from upending your body clock, sapping your energy and disrupting your sleep cycle
Sadly, there is no catch all cure for jet lag—just yet—but there are some tried and tested ways to reduce the fatigue and help you to adjust to your new time zone and back again.
1. Prepare before your flight
Start to adjust your biorhythm a few days before you fly. If you’re flying east, try to go to sleep and get up a couple of hours earlier. If you’re westbound, head to bed a couple of hours later and try to get up later too. Try to do this as you prepare for your return too, to avoid being blind-sided by jet lag when you get home.
2. Be booking savvy
If jet lag knocks you for ten, aim to book a flight in the afternoon or evening so that you don’t have a long day ahead before getting some sleep.
3. Get in the zone
Get yourself mentally prepared for the new time zone by setting your watch to your destination’s local time, and try to stay awake if it’s still daytime there. If you arrive and it’s morning, go and have breakfast even if it’s dinner time back home. The daylight will also help your body to adapt to the new environment.
4. Avoid overindulging in-flight
It’s difficult to resist in-flight drinks and snacking to stave off boredom, but try to avoid eating or drinking alcohol too heavily as this can make you feel particularly sluggish after a long flight. The air inside aeroplanes can be dry and dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine as this will add to your dehydration.
5. Choose your food wisely
Your choice of in-flight meal can have an influence on jet lag. If you need to sleep on your flight, try to go for a carbohydrate-rich option as this can help to induce sleepiness. If you want to stay spritely, go choose a lighter, protein-based meal, which will help you to stay more alert.