Jetlag, oh jetlag. It’s the absolute worst!! If you’ve never had it than lucky you! But for those who have travelled across different time zones it’s likely you’ve felt your body spack out at least once because your internal clock doesn’t know what to do with itself. Jet- lag generally rears its ugly head in insomnia and extreme fatigue for a few days and often can be the cause of either weird hunger or lack of appetite. In some people it also results in a range of yucky stuff like anxiety, constipation, dehydration, headaches, nausea or irritability. It’s basically one big bag of suckfullness.
It’s even more horrid if you only have a short stay in your destination. You just don’t have the time to waste couped up in your hotel tired as all hell trying to count sheep. Even if you do have a month to spare I know you don’t want to spend a week of it feeling like absolute rubbish. Whilst there are no definitive ways to beat jetlag completely, there are some steps you can take to minimise the risk of feeling like a zombie for a week and help you get to your destination ready to rock ‘n’ roll.
Here’s our tips for kicking jet-lag’s butt.
I’m sorry - I know it sucks, but don’t shoot the messenger...
There is an old wives tale that the best thing you can do on a long flight is to have a few drinks. Due to the fact alcohol is often complementary on international flights it’s also easy to do so excessively. Whilst it is an awesome option for keeping you amused and passing the time alcohol actually dehydrates you - which is the last thing you want on a plane. It is also a lot more potent at a high altitude and it wreaks havoc with your sleeping patterns. Just to add to the fun you’re nearly guaranteed a killer hangover on arrival. If you can’t go without having a couple of drinks than ensure you stop drinking a couple of hours before attempting to get some sleep.
Your skin, nose and throat will get dry from the recycled air conditioning that are used on the plane. You can combat that by drinking water and using moisturiser on your skin. Don’t go overboard though, you don’t want to be that person that spends the whole flight jumping over people to go to the toilet every ten minutes.
I know it’s hard not biting someone’s head off if they dare trying to talk to you before your morning coffee hit but for 12 hours before your flight you should avoid drinking any caffeine. On your flight you should avoid it all together. Caffeine may keep you awake but it also makes you wake up during your sleep constantly.
If you get on your plane tired, cranky and irritable it’s only going to compound and get worse during your trip. You’re going to be crammed into a tiny seat for some stupid amount of time so your patience is already going to be tested. Your condition will be reflective of what you started with and will only get worse over the course of the flight. The more rested you are the better you are going to feel at the end of it.
Your meals act as time cues for your body. Try filling up before the plane - not only is plane food generally quite heavy but it’ll come out on the time schedule of where you’re departing from not heading too. Pack some light options to snack on or choose the healthiest option possible.
If it’s night time at your destination, try and sleep or if it’s daylight there try and stay awake. Also when you get to your destination try and go to bed at their normal sleeping time. Getting your body used to it straight away will help. Some people suggest taking a sleeping drug to help, but that’s a personal preference. Speak to your local GP to discover if it’s right for you.
Don’t go straight to your hotel to rest. If you do need a nap make it a short 30 minute one, no longer. The more you expose yourself to sunlight the better it will be for your jet-lag.