For frequent fliers one of the biggest nightmares is trying to stave off jet lag.
Jet lag is the effect of switching between time zones without your body being able to properly adjust to these changes.
There are many factors that affect how badly you suffer when travelling, and you can therefore take measures to minimise these effects to stop you from feeling too rough for too long.
Jet lag is not harmful in itself, but the disturbance in your sleep patterns can cause disorientation and weakness associated with fatigue.
GET SOME ZZZZZ
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Sleep is the most important thing in helping to avoid jet lag.
Before, during and after flight sleep times should all be properly calculated to help you adjust as quickly as possible.
Once you arrive at your destination you will need to stay up until local nightfall, so you will need to have stockpiled a good amount of energy to see you through.
A good kip the night before your flight is crucial so why not stay locally to the airport so you can maximise your shut eye time. If you’re flying from London simply go online to book hotels in Heathrow terminal 5 and wake up refreshed and with plenty of sleep stored up for your flight.
If it is a very long flight then try and either nap or just chill right out on the plane en route. If you can, arrange stopovers as these help your body adjust little by little to the different time zones.
JUMP ONTO YOUR DESTINATION TIMEZONE
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It is much harder for your body to adapt to shorter days than it is to longer ones.
This means that the worst jet lag usually occurs when flying East to West. If you are flying to East Asia or Australia from the UK you are likely to be hit pretty hard by jet lag, and need to pay extra attention to your sleeping patterns.
One of the main factors which causes fatigue, other than not getting enough sleep, is poor hydration.
Frequent fliers will know all too well that when flying your body becomes more dehydrated anyway.
Add in the shifts in time zones and you need to be even more vigilant about taking on enough water. You may fancy a glass of wine or coffee whilst flying but alcohol and caffeine will both dehydrate you and make the dry confines of the cabin even drier.
You don’t want to end up arriving at your destination with jet lag and a thumping headache.
SYNC YOUR BODY CLOCK
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Natural light is the best way to get your body clock to sync with your surroundings.
Try and get out and about during the daylight hours once you reach your destination, this will help acclimatise you to the new surroundings.
Try not to go to bed too early either, no matter how tired you are, turning in at 7pm local time while it is still light out will not help your internal clock adjust.
Travelling should be enjoyable, and starting day one of your trip feeling worse than if you had been out all night does not help you have a good time.
Take all the steps you can to avoid jet lag, and maybe factor a few extra days into your trip to allow for recovering from the change in time zone.
Do you have any tips for fighting jet lag? Share your comments with us below.