‘If you’ve ever travelled long- haul, there’s every chance you’ve dealt with the hell of jet lag…’
Les and I recently took a trip to South Korea and the 9 hour time difference was a shock to the system which left me completely out of sorts for the first few days.
While it’s never easy to acclimatise to a new time zone, there are a few things you can do to make it as easy as possible for your body and mind to adjust. These are our tips to combat jet lag.
Staying Awake/Going to Sleep
I’ll be the first to admit that I cannot stay awake when I’m suffering from jet lag
I suffer from insomnia, so my sleep tends to be all over the place anyway. However, if I arrive at a new destination during daylight hours, I try my best to stay awake until it’s actually bedtime where I am. If I arrive in the wee small hours, I try to sleep. Acclimatising to your new time zone as soon as you can is a great tip to combat jet lag.
If I’m shattered and in danger of falling asleep during the day, I drag myself out walking in the fresh air and trying my best NOT to sit anywhere that’s too comfortable. If I’m wide awake when I should be sleeping, I avoid coffee, reading, TV and anything else that stimulates my brain.
It can often feel like a form of torture. but it’s worth it in the long run.
Anything that either keeps you awake or makes you extra sleepy should be avoided when you’re trying to kick your jet lag into touch.
Although it can feel like you’re not having the most fun start to your break, it does help you adjust much more quickly. I’m a coffee addict, so I find switching to decaf for a few days usually does the trick. I haven’t found an acceptable alternative for red wine yet, but I’m working on it.
On your first day/night, opt for a meal that’s not too heavy. Don’t burden yourself with unnecessarily calorific foods or something local you’ve never had before that might upset your stomach. You don’t want to be knackered and sick.
Until you settle in and get your first night’s sleep, try not to put your system under any more pressure. Try eating healthy foods that aren’t too rich until you get back on track.
We all know what it’s like to climb down aeroplane stairs after a massively long flight feeling tired and awful. Keeping yourself properly hydrated before, during and after your flight can really help combat this. Sometimes, not having that second glass of airport red can be a benefit in the long run.
Changing time zones is one thing for your body to adjust to, but adding that to changes in temperature and little sleep can be a recipe for disaster if your body doesn’t have the ability to deal with it. Drink water. Lots of it.
Get Some Rest
It can be difficult to find a balance between resting and falling asleep. What I mean by ‘rest’ is not ditching your case in your apartment and heading off to an all-night club to dance the night away.
By all means, do that, but not on your first night. All you’ll achieve is further confusing your body and making it wonder why you’re punishing it.
Giving up that party on your first night will give your body and mind time to recover. This means you’ll be refreshed and ready to go for the rest of your holiday.
What are your top tips for dealing with jet lag?