Love traveling but hate jet lag? We’ve all had that experience before. Next time skip the bubbly and opt for water – and follow these other tips to beat time zone tiredness.
- Avoid arriving at night
Sunlight does wonders for helping you stay awake and alert while staying indoors is said to worsen jet lag. So, pick a flight that arrives during the day, preferably in the afternoon, then go outdoors and simply go to bed earlier in the evening. You’ll wake up fresh in the morning and pumped for your holiday.
- Choose the right aircraft
Get ready to brush up on your aircraft knowledge – this one requires some prior research, but you’ll sound like a pro talking about humidification and lighting systems. A350s and A380s have hi-tech humidification systems to retain moisture and an air purification system that renews the air. Their LED lighting also creates hues that replicate natural phases of the day.
- Eat right
Those really bent on beating jet lag can try eating meals in line with the time zone they’re traveling to a few days before the flight. But such an extreme measure isn’t necessary. A good rule of thumb is don’t eat heavy food before flying and while in the air. Stick to small portions and light meals with protein to minimize fatigue.
- Relax your schedule
Take it easy! On your first day of the holiday, don’t cram in too many activities and keep sightseeing to a minimum. Instead, take yourself on a slow walking tour culminating in a nice dinner. It’s a wonderful way to soak in the sights while getting your bearings and tiring yourself out for sleep later.
- Move around regularly and do exercises to keep the blood flowing
The exercise manuals in seatback pockets are there for a reason, though the infographics in the back pages of in-flight magazines tend to be cuter. Stretch your arms, twirl your feet, rotate your head and get up and walk around the plane from time to time. It keeps the blood flowing and will lessen lethargy.
- Avoid the bar
There’s the allure of clinking champagne glasses 35,000 feet in the air and certainly, a glass of wine helps with sleep. But the effect is brief, and alcohol dehydrates the system which makes it more difficult to adjust to a new time zone later. Just avoid the bar – or perhaps implement a one-drink minimum rule!
- Swerve the sleeping pills
Best to adhere to the idiom “no rest for the weary” while on the plane. Sleeping pills might seem like a quick fix but they won’t help with overcoming jet lag in the long run. On the contrary, you might land feeling a little woozy. Try to fall asleep the natural way on the plane – ask for some hot tea and read a book (or watch a boring documentary).
- Get a good night’s sleep before you leave
Instead, have a good night’s rest the night before flying. The tactic of staying up in order to catch a few winks on the plane does not work. Quality sleep in the comfort of your own bed beats sporadic sleep on the plane. Sweet dreams!
- Split up the trip and build in a stopover to help yourself to adapt
Use Ebookers’ multi-city function to build in a stopover. This extra time on the ground gives your body more hours to rest and to start adjusting to a new time zone quicker. Not only that, but having a stopover will reduce your airfare, so it’s a win-win.
- Drink lots of water and avoid coffee
While it’s tempting to look the part of a jet setter, takeout coffee cup in hand, like alcohol, coffee is an artificial stimulant that can worsen, not help with jet lag recovery. Purchase a huge bottle of water before boarding instead and hydrate throughout the flight. Your body always functions better when hydrated.