Why is it that for every time zone you cross, you seem to need a day to recover? Who wouldn’t want to step off the plane, collect your luggage from the carousel and stride out of the airport doors ready to embrace all your new destination has to offer? Unfortunately for most people, the effect of long haul flights sees them suffering jet lag. Here are some tips to cope with long flights and be raring to go once you arrive.
Reduce Your Flight Transfers
Plan your journey so you are not transferring planes along the way. It may seem like a good idea and a cheaper option to change flights so you can take a break during a long journey, but direct flights are better in the long run if you want to avoid jet lag.
Try to adapt in advance
Before you travel you should try to partially adapt to the destination time zone. For instance, you could start your daily routine one hour before or after you normally do the week before flying.
Exercise the day before
It can become extremely uncomfortable sitting in a cramped seat for an extended period. Go to the gym the day before you board your flight. Give your legs a good workout, release the chemicals which reduce stress and tire yourself out to help you sleep on the flight.
Request a window seat
If possible reserve yourself a window seat as this is the only place you can rest your head and pillow on a hard surface. It’s impossible on the aisle or in the centre seats.
Spending a number of hours breathing refurbished air can be dehydrating, so avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water before and during your flight. Indulging in free wine, beer, coffee and salted peanuts can leave you feeling weary. Keep your skin moisturised by splashing your face and hands every time you go to the bathroom.
Get some sleep
Try to get some sleep during longer flights. Pack an eye mask and ear plugs in your carry-on luggage. Wearing comfortable shoes and loose clothing on your journey will help with circulation and enable you to sleep more comfortably.
As soon as you arrive at your destination, try to adapt to the local schedule by eating the appropriate meals at the right time. Also get out into the sunlight and avoid taking naps during the day.
Some of the symptoms of jet lag are:
Daytime tiredness and generally feeling unwell
Finding it difficult to sleep and a lack of concentration
Irritability or anxiety
Loss of appetite and nausea