Your Guide To Curing Jet Lag

Jet lag is an unavoidable curse to anyone flying long haul. There’s nothing worse than getting off a plane excited to discover your new destination and realising that your body clock is stuck in the wrong time zone; you need to sleep when you want to be exploring your new surroundings and you’re lying wide awake in the middle of the night. There are many rumours of new products that claim to cure jet lag, but many of these prove to simply be gimmicks. Follow the tips below to try to avoid spending the first few days of your holiday suffering from jet lag.

Jet Lag No More

Curing Jet Lag Before Your Trip

Change your sleeping routine a couple of days prior to your flight. If you are heading west, try to get up and go to bed later than usual, or if you are travelling east, start rising and going to bed a couple of hours earlier each day.

Keep calm and try not to panic about the flight. It has been proven that stress increases the effects of jet lag, so even if you are a nervous flyer, try to prepare yourself mentally for the trip.

Curing Jet Lag On The Flight

Make yourself as comfortable as possible during the flight by wearing an eye-mask and noise-cancelling headphones and carrying a travel pillow and blanket.

Try to get into your new time zone by setting your watch to your new time zone as soon as you board the plane. During the flight, eat, drink and sleeping according to the time zone that you will be landing in to try to accustom your body.

Don’t use sleeping pills, as they won’t help your body adjust naturally to the new time zone; they’re just a temporary measure. 

Dehydration makes jet lag worse, so drink plenty of water during your flight and stay away from substances that may dehydrate you, such as caffeine and alcohol.

Curing Jet Lag When You Arrive

Spend as much time as possible exposed to the natural daylight and try to avoid spending too much time indoors exposed to artificial light during the first couple of days in your destination.

If you have travelled west, seek out the afternoon sun, or if you have moved eastward, soak up the morning light to give your body the vitamin D that it needs and to try to reset your circadian rhythms. 

Try practising yoga when you arrive at your accommodation to stretch out your limbs, de-stress your body and boost your energy levels. This is likely to particularly useful if you have arrived during the daytime and require an extra energy boost in order to stay awake.

If at all possible, try to book onto a flight that arrives in the early evening, stay awake for a couple of hours and go to bed around 9pm local time. This will give your body the best chance to sleep through the first night and to wake up at approximately the right time in the morning to reset your body.

Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.