Experts

This is how to deal with jet lag – according to the experts

More and more of us are choosing to jet off to far-flung destinations in the want of some winter sun.

The summer holidays are over, sure, but plenty will be looking forward to a break pre-Christmas.

It’s at this time of year when long haul flights are most popular, according to experts.

And after spending hours and hours on a plane, you may find yourself burdened by horrific jet lag.

Jet lag occurs when you travel quickly across more than two times zones leading to the confusion between your internal body clock and the local time.

It is especially worse when you travel eastwards because time is lost.

Birmingham Airport

Bensons for Beds have provided their top tips for combating jet lag and we think they’re worth giving a go.

How many of these will you put to the test ahead of your next holiday?

Before the flight;

Prepare your body clock by going to bed and getting up an hour earlier each day for a few days prior to travelling east. For example, if your normal sleeping pattern is 11pm to 7am, and for three days you advance it by 1 hour, on your last night before travel you will go to bed at 8pm and get up at 4am the next morning.

Doing so will mean that you reduce the time differential between the local time and your internal body clock, thus reducing the impact of jet lag.


Prepare for your flight;

Getting everything organised the day before your departure can help to calm a racing mind and promote a better night’s sleep. Exercising before going on a long flight can also promote sleep and relieve travel anxiety.

During the flight;

Set your watch – when you get on the plane set your watch to the local time to start preparing your brain for the time change.

If you are arriving at your destination in the afternoon or evening, make sure you stay awake on the plane so that you are ready for the local bedtime on landing. Alternatively, if you are arriving in the morning, aim to sleep on the plane to be ready for the day ahead.

If you find sleeping on planes a challenge then come prepared with your own ear plugs, eye mask, neck rest, comfortable clothes and blanket. The more comfortable you can be the greater chance of you actually sleeping.

The healthier you can be on your flight, the more energy you will have when you arrive and the quicker you’ll recover from jetlag. Stay hydrated, eat healthy food options, limit caffeine and alcohol, do regular stretches, get up and walk about and wear comfortable clothing.

Arrival

Adjust your body clock to the local time zone by immediately getting out into the sunlight, eating, working, socialising and sleeping all on the local time. Avoid the temptation

If sleep does not come straight away, then seek solace in the beneficial rest that you get from simply lying in bed calm and relaxed. Take a moment to notice the comfort of your bed, the warmth of your body, the movement of your breath and gentle goings on of your mind.

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