How To Beat Jetlag

If like me you have jetted off to all manner of destinations, you will probably agree that as time goes by, the seats on aircraft seem to get smaller. It is bad enough having the passenger in front of you recline their seat just as you are enjoying your meal or refreshments, but if you happen to be in the middle seating section it can be even worse. Now you have to wrestle for the armrest on either side. These are common concerns on even the shortest journey, so how much does jetlag add to the equation – read on and discover more with our tips to combat dreaded jetlag fatigue!

Mind Matter

  • Once you know your travel dates, start preparing yourself as soon as you can, particularly for long haul flights. If you plan to fly east, try going to bed earlier than normal a few days before you catch your flight.
  • This is because you are effectively flying back in time , which confuses your internal time clock. The opposite applies when flying west.
  • Preventing jetlag can be as simple as staying happy, and maintaining a positive attitude before setting off. In other words, try not to dwell on the negatives by training yourself to thinking that the flight is taking you to where you need to be.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs before flying. Logically, it’s the same as driving a car, so why hammer your system before taking to the air. Sedatives fall into this category too – unless your GP has advised them, avoid using them.
  • Some airliners, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner use LED lighting to simulate daytime and the night sky to help eliminate jetlag.
  • Talk to your in-flight companions as this can help you feel more comfortable throughout the journey, helping you to relax and sleep better. Fellow passengers benefit too as they are in the same situation as you.
  • Try to include a stopover on long haul trips; this not only helps reduce the stress out of long distance travelling, but also makes it easier to adjust to changing time zones. Sort of like a half-time break.
  • If you are flying to a radically different time zone, reset your watch as soon as you get on the plane. Then resume your normal activities at that time whether this happens to be eating or sleeping. This way, you will be better prepared on arrival.
  • Try using a facemask and earphones for listening to music once you are on-board. This help screen out unfamiliar sights and sounds as you jet your way to your destination.

Flying is boring and unnatural, and it certainly disrupts our internal time clocks. Preparing properly for your flight is important if you want to minimise the effects of flying across time zones. Remember to factor in that wildcard when you travel, the things that the seasoned traveller dreads most in the form of delays, cancellations or curtailments. Enjoy your flight and time abroad!

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