Living in Australia means that jet lag is basically inevitable.
I’m sure you’ve also had the feeling of walking off the plane and feeling as though you want to sleep for days on end. Your head feels groggy, your body becomes weak and your mind is completely confused; it’s an awful feeling.
Although, I’ve accumulated some handy tips that have really helped me get a grip on fighting jet lag, so that you and I can head straight into our trips without feeling like walking death…
Ensure you’re well-rested before departure
Getting on an uncomfortable plane when you’re already tired is a total recipe for disaster. Ensuring that your body is well-rested means you’ll be able to enjoy a flight in the correct time zone without contributing to a travel hangover.
I once had the temptation of going to see a midnight screening of a film, only a few hours before having to leave for my flight – Thank goodness that didn’t happen.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Nothing will ruin a flight light wearing tight, stiff, uncomfortable clothing! Ensure that your aeroplane comfort is at its best, and you’ll be on your way to a flight of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation!
Bring the essentials
You don’t want to get on the plane without the most important travel essentials. A sleeping mask, earplugs, headphones and a neck pillow are just a few of the things that you don’t want to leave without.
They may not necessarily help your combat jet lag, but they will certainly help prevent it.
Change your watch as soon as you step on the plane
My favourite tip to fight jet lag is to turn your clock before you take off.
Once you’ve settled down on the plane, having your destination’s current time on your wrist makes it very easy to navigate when you should and shouldn’t be getting some sleep. If you’re on a long-haul flight that departed in the afternoon and arrives the next evening or even the same day (time travel – It’s weird I know), your life will be much easier if you sleep during the correct time of your final destination.
Trying to forget about what time it is back home may be difficult, but once you’ve started your journey, it’s completely irrelevant.
The one exception, however, is if your total trip is less than 48 hours (for work or a weekend getaway), changing your clock will be a total waste of time. Stick to your normal time zone, so that you won’t be jetlagged when you come home!
Drink lots of water during the flight
Staying hydrated is so important. Aeroplanes completely suck the moisture from your entire body – if you fail to replenish, you’re going to be left with a sore head, a tired body and a completely hazy mind.
Having a glass of wine on the plane (especially if you’re in Business Class and have free alcohol) is absolutely no issue. But having too much is the total opposite. Alcohol completely dehydrates you so there’s definitely a line that you do not want to cross, or else you’ll wake up with a nasty headache that you’ll undoubtfully regret.
Say goodbye to Caffeine after 12 pm
Caffeine is amazing at keeping you awake when you’re feeling a little drowsy, but it’s important to keep in mind that it can completely affect your sleeping pattern, even when consumed up to 6 hours before!
This is particularly important on the day you arrive – you really don’t want to be buzzing awake when you’re desperately trying to go some sleep.
Be wary of Sleeping Pills
There’s no doubt that sleeping pills are the perfect way of ensuring sleep on the plane, but they really do mess with your body’s natural sleeping pattern.
If you’re going to take Melatonin, ensure that you consult with your doctor and take the correct amount (and at a suitable time). Taking too much will result in a dreary head and a completely confused state of mind. Something you really don’t want to have at the start of a holiday.
Don’t nap for too long
Once at your destination, getting to your hotel and having a 3-hour sleep is often veeeeeery tempting. Instead of ruining your entire day by feeling drowsy and un-energetic, take a short nap no longer than 30-40 minutes. By only having a short nap, your body will only enter a light stage of sleep that leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated, and you’ll wake up feeling as good as new.
If you let your body sleep for too long, you’ll enter a deep phase of sleep and you’ll wake up feeling much worse than before you had your nap.
Trust me on this one!
Give yourself an extra day before really starting your trip
Arriving at your destination and rushing straight into the travel can be completely draining.
On every trip I’ve been on thus far, I’ve allowed myself at least one day (which could even be the day of arrival if you arrive in the morning) to relax, get in touch with the new time, and completely gather my bearings. This ensures you have a decent sleep in the new time zone, and you’ll be ready to rock n roll!
Have a short layover where possible
If you’ve just been on a 5 week trip to the other side of the world, chances are you’re going to be exhausted.
Instead of travelling for days on end to get home – which is often the case when you live in places like Australia – give yourself a break somewhere in the middle. This is also the perfect opportunity to briefly see a new city that you’ve never experienced before.
Travelling from Iceland to Australia, meant 48 hours of non-stop travel just to get home. Unfortunately, there was no layover for us due to other work commitments. And let me tell you… it was a killer. You really don’t want to screw with your body after such an amazing trip, even if you have one night in a hotel to recoup, it could potentially be a lifesaver!
What are your favourite tips on fighting jet lag?
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