I sometimes like to think that suffering from jetlag somehow means I am suffering from life as a time traveller. However, I have to accept that I am not a Time Lord, a flight of fancy too far that does nothing for the jet lag anyway. Here’s how to cut your chances of getting jet lag and how to cope if it gets you!
What is jet lag anyway?
Jet lag is a disturbance in your sleep patterns, and it is generally worse when travelling from west to east because it is easier for your body to adjust to a longer day than a shorter one! Our bodies are primed to respond to regular cycles of night and day, so if it is light when we are expecting darkness, the body can take a day or two to adjust.
Before you travel
Sleep well before you go, and on the plane if possible. By cramming in as much asleep as you can, you stand a better chance of staying awake until night in your next destination.
Change your sleep pattern a few days before you travel. Get up and go to bed earlier if you are travelling east, later if you are travelling west.
During your journey
Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Dehydration can make the effects of jet lag worse, especially if you have been consuming alcohol.
Use an eye mask and earplugs to get some rest while you travel. You stand a better chance of getting some rest if you shut out unwanted light and noise!
When you arrive
Get out in the daylight as this will help your body to adjust to the new tie zone quicker.
Get your normal resting hours in on the first night. Even if you only manage a short chunk of time, napping during the next day to top this time up will help alleviate the effects of jetlag.
Need more help? Read our Jet Lag Genie review – a handy smartphone app that helps users adjust their sleeping pattern to avoid jetlag.