Jet lag is one of the most common ailments affecting travellers who cross time zones on the way to their holiday destination, causing them to be groggy and sleep deprived, which in turn can lead to other symptoms like headaches and sickness. If you’re planning on travelling to a distant land but hate the thought of jet lag holding you back once you arrive, take a look through these handy tips, each offering a helpful remedy for the dreaded symptoms jet lag.
Establish a new routine as soon as possible
As soon as you arrive in your new destination, try to match your usual routine to your new time zone. This can include meals times as well as your sleeping schedule to really help your body adjust to the range in time. Some people even attempt to reset their body clock before they fly, adjusting their sleeping times according to their intended destinations. This is easier for some to do than others, but definitely worth a try, especially if you have a busy first day to look forward to.
For many, the immediate reaction to arriving tired in a new destination after long flight is to take a nap. However, this is not a good idea if it is the middle of the day and you are hoping to adjust your body clock quickly and avoid lengthy bout of jet lag. Try to hold out until after dark and then enjoy a nice long sleep, waking up fresh the next morning with your body clock readjusted.
Spend time outside
Spending time outdoors in the natural sunlight can really help you body adapt to the daytime even if you feel like you need to sleep. If you arrive on the other side of the world in the middle of the day feeling groggy, find something outside to do to pass the time. Whether it’s going to the beach, exploring your surroundings or enjoy a quick swim, a few hours in the natural light can do wonders to remedy your jet lag.
Studies into sleeps and the effects of jet lag have suggested that wearing sunglasses during the last hours of a long-haul flight can help soothe the symptoms of jet lag as the body is particularly receptive to changes in light. It has even been advised that travellers wear sunglasses for the first few hours when they arrive to help combat daytime jet lag.
Tuck into ‘superfoods’
According to many leading experts, travellers who wish to avoid the worst symptoms of jet lag should tuck into certain ‘superfoods’ when they reach their destination, including lemons, bananas and cherries. The healing fruits are said to soothe the effect of crossing time zones as they each contain certain natural remedies.
Lemons have qualities that help to stave dehydration, potassium and magnesium-rich bananas work as natural muscle relaxants, while cherries are one of the only natural foods to contain melatonin, an important hormone when it comes to resetting the body clock.
Some research has shown that certain medication containing the hormone melatonin – which helps control your sleeping cycle – can help travellers avoid experiencing jet lag. It is important however to get your dosage and timing right, so check with your pharmacist before taking any. Some people opt for sleeping pills to help get some rest as and when they need it, but they are not usually recommend due to their side effects and addictive nature.
Drinking plenty of water is key when it comes to recovering from or avoiding a bad case of jet lag. Mild dehydration often occurs during air travel and can exacerbate the physical symptoms of jet lag. It is important therefore to take in lots of fluid during all stages of your journey, but avoid coffee and alcohol, as they can have an adverse affect on your ability to sleep or stay awake.