Our bodies are naturally programmed to do a number of things throughout a 24-hour period such as eating and sleeping, and these rhythms as they are known, get thrown wildly of sync when we travel long distances at high speed. A major change in time zones can mean that our bodies get very confused indeed. You can’t avoid jet lag, but by following these tips you can minimize the symptoms.
Take care of yourself. You know the drill, eat right, sleep right and exercise. Now for the hard part: You’ve actually got to do this! It’s been suggested that the better you feel overall, the lighter the jet lag.
Use the flight to rest and reset. In-flight movies are good for one thing – nap time. With a few hours of sleep during the transatlantic flight, you’ll be functional the day you land. When the pilot announces the European time, reset your mind along with your wristwatch. Don’t prolong jet lag by reminding yourself what time it is back home.
Plenty of water. If you are due to land at night, avoid caffeine-heavy beverages such as coffee, cola and energy drinks that look rather disturbing when served in a glass, since this will affect your sleep patterns. But do drink plenty of water onboard to keep yourself hydrated.
Try to exercise. Move around regularly and do exercises to keep the blood circulating which will make you feel better. A large brandy will make you feel even better.
When you arrive:
Watch what you eat. Start eating three meals a day in line with the new time zone, even if that means cornflakes at 11pm. Which some people enjoy as a suppertime snack anyway, so that’s no problem.
Get some sun. Get as much daylight as you can. Daylight makes you feel better.