HOW TO: Beat Jet Lag in 9 Steps

Ever heard of jet lag? It’s a sleep disorder for individuals who travel quickly across many timezones. So if you’ve ever done a long flight (say, more than  6 hours), you may encounter some fatigue and difficulty concentrating.

Possible symptoms:
Fatigue aside, you may feel sleepy during the daytime, or find it hard to sleep at night (insomnia). However, headaches, muscle pain, indigestion are also possible symptoms as they differ from person to person. There’s no real cure. However, we’ve got 10 methods you can use to significantly reduce its impact and make your trip even more memorable

What to do before the Flight

1. Have a stopover for long flights: If your trip crosses a number of time zones (eg: Colombo to New York or London), consider taking multiple flights. Breaking down the flights can make it easier for you to adjust to the time changes. If you have a few hours at an airport, talk a walk ar0und the airport, get a massage or shower and freshen up. That being said, be mindful that you dont miss your connecting flight!

airplane in the sky
Long flight? Consider a stopover

2. ‘Train’ your body clock to adjust: A few days before your flight, go to bed earlier/later depending on where you’re going. So, if you’re flying to the East (ie: Australia, Japan, China etc) go to sleep a little earlier. If you’re going for an European vacation, wake up and go to bed at a later time.

3. Be Healthy and active: The healthier you are, the better you will be able to cope with jet lag. So sleep well, exercise often and eat healthy so that jet lag becomes an afterthought.

What to do when you’re flying

4. Change your watch time to that of your destination: This is a popular trick among frequent flyers. Once you’re in the plane, change the time on your watch to the local time. Its a simple mental trick, but helps you get into the mindset of the new time zone. It also gives you an idea of what time you should eat, go to sleep and wake up.

many time zones
Change the time on your watch to match with the time of your destination

5 Drink a lot of water: Here’s another reason why you should drink water. Being dehydrated can worsen the effects of jet lag. Besides, you’re going to be in the plane which is known to sap a lot of moisture. Recovery is best done by drinking water frequently.

drinking on the plane
Instead of alcohol or coffee, drink lots water instead

6. Go to Sleep: Even if you only a sleep a few hours here and there it can make a huge difference. Sleeping well will ensure that you’re well rested when you reach your destination. If possible, grab a pillow/blanket/mask/earplugs so that you can sleep soundly

7. Walk on the plane: More and more people are using this trick. Walk up and down the aisle of the plane if its a long flight, and do a little stretching so that you’re alert and avoid cramping up. Furthermore, this gives you the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is when a blood clot develops in the vein, normally in your legs when you’re very inactive and stay seated for a long time.

What to do when you reach your destination

8.Stay awake until an early local bedtime: Its hard, but try to stay awake by walking around in fresh air and sunlight. The light will help you stay awake for a little bit longer until you go to bed.

fat man sleeping in airport
When you land, try to stay awake until an early bedtime in your local destination.

9. Can’t sleep? Try these tricks: If you find it hard to fall asleep, try taking a warm bath/shower and switch off/block any lights which may keep you awake, and hinder your ability to sleep. The darkness will help relax the body and tell your internal system that its time for you to sleep.

Did you enjoy this list? Please tell us which tip you’d recommend, or if there are any methods which you’d suggest to reduce jet lag in the comments section!

hnb gi LOGO

Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

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