Anyone who has travelled a lengthy distance will know what jet lag feels like. This usually happens when flying through multiple time zones. By definition, jet lag is a sleeping disorder in which your biological clock has become de-synchronised with 'real' time. Symptoms can include being exhausted at 1 o'clock in the afternoon or wide awake in the middle of the night. Despite this common discomfort when travelling, jet lag can be fought! Here are a few tips to try to minimize its effects.
Jet lag can be difficult to avoid. There are however useful ways to temper jet lag and minimise its effects by watching out for what you eat and when you sleep. Check out our tips right here!
To sleep or not to sleep
Is it wise to sleep during your flight? Or are you thereby increasing the likelihood of jet lag? The answer lies in what time you leave and what time you reach your destination. But don't forget to consider which direction you're flying towards, east or west. You can depart in the morning and arrive sometime in the afternoon on the same day when flying westward. In this case, sleep for half an hour at most or not at all to ensure you can sleep well at night. When travelling eastward you fly in conjunction with time. So when departing in the afternoon, chances are you'll arrive sometime the next day. In these cases we encourage grabbing a few extra hours of sleep during your flight.
Food and drink
What you eat and drink over the course of the day has the potential to affect your sleep rhythm. Alcohol, coffee and chocolate are stimulants that keep your body awake. While fruit, bread, milk, almonds and honey do the opposite by nudging you towards sleep. So keep this in mind when waiting around at the airport to board! Take some almonds with you, for example in your hand luggage. It hardly takes up space, but be sure to check beforehand what can and cannot be brought with you to your destination. Some countries have very strict rules!
Keep an eye on light and sound
The best sleep comes when the amount of light and sound around you is at a minimum. Light is an important indicator for our brains as it implies daytime and an awakened state. Wearing a sleeping mask for example helps protect you against light sources and guarantees better sleep. Sound is another factor that keeps the brain active and alert. Wear earplugs to minimise these effects and wake up better rested after your flight.