When you travel across time zones, your body can have a hard time adjusting – you could experience symptoms like fatigue during the day, inability to sleep at night, difficulty concentrating and headaches. The best way to deal with jet lag is to give your body time to adjust. It’s said that for each hour of time difference, it takes that many full days to get your body back on track.
But what if you don’t have that extra time to adjust? We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you adapt faster.
- At least four days before your trip, start gradually adjusting your bedtime by going to sleep earlier or later.
- Pack noise-cancelling headphones and a neck pillow for a comfortable flight.
- To help get adjusted to new time zones, after take-off, set your watch to the time zone of your new destination.
- If your flight arrives when it’s morning in the destination, try to sleep on board the plane.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks. Eat light meals while travelling.
- When possible, walk up and down the aisle to stretch limbs, get the blood circulating and avoid having the seat pressed against the back of your legs for too long.
- If you arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon, try to keep awake until the evening. This will help your body clock adjust more quickly.
- When you arrive, get out and catch some sun! According to the Sleep Foundation, daylight is “a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock”. Staying indoors, they add, will only worsen jet lag.
- Add an extra day to the beginning of your trip so you have some time to adapt before you start exploring.