I write this as I still recover from one of the modern worlds hidden gems… jetlag.
Ever flown East before? Dramatically changed time zones? Then you will know and understand what I am on about. And after our 21 hour trip back from the UK, we are shattered.
Brain fog, lethargy, muscle aches, sore heads, the desire to sleep every moment of the day apart from when you should actually be asleep… yep I could go on and on with the side effects.
So I thought this week I would bring you 5 top tips on how to battle jetlag- both before, during and after your flight. Some of these tips I know and love. Some of these tips are recommendations I have been given and some, well, some are simply things I wish I could go back one week and do myself as I just know I would be feeling so much better if I did! You know me, always open and honest with you!
So let’s get to it!
Set your clock to the time of your destination
Mentally prepare your body for where it is going. Change the time on your watch so you can work around that. It may seem odd at first but it will help you acclimatise to your destination so much quicker.
Base your sleeping patterns off your destination time
In conjunction with the above, work out when you will be sleeping on the flight before you fly, applicable mostly to long haul. When your destination sleeps, you sleep. When your destination is awake, you stay awake. This can be very tricky to do but it is key to surviving the dreaded jetlag. We slept on the second leg of our journey only to arrive home in Perth, 2am, wide awake…
Bye bye caffeine and alcohol
Especially on the plane! This may sound harsh but let’s face it, airplane coffee tastes dreadful so you ain’t missing much here anyway and unless you are living the high life in first class, the alcohol (even the free stuff) isn’t much to write home about. Let your body work out what is going on naturally – sleep and sunlight are your friends.
If you are trying to recover from jetlag and are struggling to stay awake use caffeine in small amounts and only before midday. That way the caffeine can work it’s way out of your system before you try to go to bed and sleep.
Try and do some exercise when you land/ get out in the sunshine
Movement, and movement in the sunshine at that, will help revive you and keep you going. More so than pills, potions and coffee. Your body will respond to the sunlight, signalling that it is ‘time to be awake’ and the movement will help your blood flow, which will help with any water retention you have from your flight. Don’t jump straight into the gym though, exertion is not the answer! A simple walk will do the trick.
Routine, routine, routine
You may not want to get back into routine (hello sleeping all day…) but routine really will be your friend. Even if you are starting your holiday, rather than returning from, try and find a simple routine to stick to – a wake and bedtime is the best place to start. Help your body to help you by cutting it a little slack and giving it so normalcy to cling on to!
Do you suffer from jetlag when you fly east?
Any tips on recovery?
What was the longest flight you have been on?