9 Tips to Avoid Jet Lag And Hit The Ground Running
Whether you are travelling for that all important business trip, or finally fulfilling your sense of adventure and getting to know a new city and culture, the last thing you want is to be weighed down with fatigue. Jet lag is a harsh reality for even the most adventurous of us, and can quickly put a dampener on those first few days in your destination or upon arriving back home. Luckily, though, there are ways to avoid it. Here are some simple travel hacks you can follow to feel invigorated and refreshed once you disembark the aircraft.
1. Drink plenty of water
This seems to be the answer to a lot of body ailments, but it really does work. Those who have flown before know just how easy it is to become dehydrated thanks to the parched conditions in the cabin. Remember to drink more than you think you need; lack of movement may trick you into thinking you don’t need it. All that extra water may get you visiting those plane toilets more than you’d like, but it will definitely be worth it.
2. Avoid alcohol
Sorry! But remaining hydrated does not include those alcoholic beverages. Time to avoid those gin and tonics and stick to the good old H20. Alcohol, while delicious, will just dehydrate you further and wreak havoc on your body. Don’t be fooled by its calming abilities either; it might make you drowsy on the plane, but the nasty effects will hit you later on when jet lag is in full force.
3. Book red eye flights
One of the travel hacks to help your body clock and avoid that dreaded jet lag and fatigue is to book red eye flights. Getting a flight that leaves at night will make it easier for you to get some Zs on the plane. It also means you’ll likely arrive at your destination in the day time – when you’re more inclined to explore straight away and can prolong going to sleep.
If you’re catching multiple flights, there are other ways to maintain some semblance of routine and aid your sleep patterns. Many airports offer a range of areas designed for relaxing and getting that much needed shut eye. Singapore airport is a prime example of spaces that can help you make the most of your down time, offering pay-per-use lounges. Research airports you’ll be visiting in advance to see if they have sleeping pods available. Make sure you bring a good travel card that won’t charge you excessive fees so you can purchase these little extras at any airport easily.
4. Choose a window seat
One of the best travel tips is making preparations before you even board the plane. Your choice of seat will greatly impact not only how comfortable you are during the flight, but also how well you sleep and how your body copes.
One of the biggest contributors to our sleep/wake pattern is light. Most of us, unless we work night shifts, sleep during the night and are awake during the day. Sunlight during the day helps keep our body clocks in check and aids in maintaining a rhythm. Too much light, however, and you might find it hard to sleep, too little and your cycle will start to get muddled up too. By getting a window seat, you can control how much natural light you are getting throughout the flight by opening and closing the shade as required.
However, there’s another reason why choosing the window seat might be the best option for you. You will sleep a whole lot better! No more getting woken up by that person next to you who really needs to go to the bathroom. The window seat gives you your own little haven that will be undisturbed. Also, think about what side you like to sleep on at night time. Sleep on the right hand side of your body? Choose a right side window seat. This will mean you can lean against the window on your preferred side and boost your chances of getting some serious shut eye. Seems simple, but this is probably one of our best travel tips. Your body will thank you.
5. Bring a good book
Don’t rely on the harsh light of those screens; entertain yourself before sleep by reading a good book. Not only will you get immersed in your page-turner and forget all about the mass of other passengers sharing your air, reading is also a great way to promote sleep.
6. Bring a trusty pillow
Every traveller knows that anything that can bring a little comfort when it comes to those tiny and cramped seats is a must. A pillow will become your best friend, and your neck will thank you for the extra support – falling asleep with your chin to your chest can really hurt.
7. Use an eye mask
Similar to the reasons outlined in the window seat and book travel hacks, having an eye mask will help you reduce exposure to artificial light and help you rest easier. It can give the illusion of privacy and make you feel a little less self-conscious about people watching you sleep. A mask will also be a deterrent and you’ll be less distracted by things happening around the plane and more focussed on getting relaxed and ready for sleep.
Feeling calm, refreshed and relaxed can be as simple as taking the time to meditate. And the plane is the best place to do it – after all, you’re sitting for hours with nowhere else to be. There are a bunch of guided apps (that don’t require internet) you could utilise, or simply take advantage of the calming music offered on the screens in the plane. Nature sounds are great at promoting relaxation and helping to clear your mind. Listening to these apps or music may help you fall asleep and will help drown out the chatter, rustling and baby cries that may be happening around you.
9. Eat less plane food
Fatigue and feeling sluggish can all come down to what you decide to put in your body, so what you eat will impact how you feel. Those airline meals aren’t fancy to begin with, and many of the foods that are included aren’t particularly great for your digestion, such as bread and dry biscuits. Try and bring some foods on the plane you know your body is happy with and limit the amount of airline supplied foods. Try out these simple tips the next time you travel and see what a difference it makes to your overall mood and level of energy.