Jet lag! The bane of a lot of travellers. When setting off for exotic locations, you don’t want to waste any time by suffering with jet lag. And when you come home? You just want to get on with life. So, I have put together a list of my top tips on beating jet lag!
It apparently takes a full day for each hour of time difference, although for me personally I have never suffered for as long as that. Hopefully because of the below!
Set your clock to your arrival time
As soon as the plane takes off, I am operating on the time zone of my destination. I work out when I need to try and sleep based on this. So, if you are arriving somewhere late at night, sleep early on in your flight so that by the time you arrive you will be tired again, and have the best chance of a good first nights sleep.
When I travelled home from Mongolia this ended up with me working out I needed to sleep in my 8 hour layover in Seoul airport. I then had to stay awake for the entire flight home, successfully! It was a long flight. But it meant when I got home, I managed to stay up to 10.30pm and slept through until 8am the next day. This was despite the 8 hour time difference between the UK and Mongolia.
Put a playlist together
I have a playlist of songs I often listen to when I am struggling to sleep. I find it calms me, and I listen to the soothing sound of the music rather than the thoughts going round in my head.
My personal choice is some songs from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, but I do understand that might not be everyones taste! Have a look on Spotify for some sleepy soundtracks.
Don’t underestimate the power of resting
We’ve all been there. Knowing you’re meant to be asleep on the plane, and it’s just not happening. My advice – don’t give up. If you persist I firmly believe you will have got more sleep than you think you have. Even if this isn’t the case, sitting back and resting will be far more beneficial in beating jet lag than keeping your mind active with a film. As tempting as it may be.
Also invest in a good pair of earplugs and an eye mask. I am a big fan of sensory deprivation. It means I can sleep anywhere. But again, even if you aren’t asleep it stops you being distracted from what’s going on around. Again this will mean you will be more rested.
Stay awake as long as you can
If you have an early arrival, once you have arrived at your destination, stay awake for as long as you can. Ideally until about 9pm. Do whatever you need to do. Watch an interesting programme, read a book, go for walk. Mix it up, keep it varied and move around as much as you need to. Just stay awake! It goes without saying, the more sleepy you are – the better chance of sleeping longer.
The clichés for beating jet lag
We all know the usual suspects, so I am going to lump them all as one and not go into too much detail. But, avoid alcohol, try not to drink too much caffeine and keep hydrated! Keep hydrated being the key key one! We all know the benefits of this, and as tempting as that gin and tonic on the plane is – it isn’t going to help in the long wrong.
Keep your skin hydrated as well – find out how I deal with travelling with sensitive skin here!
Try and be as prepared as possible the day before
Make sure you are packed and ready to go. Have your passport, all your documents printed and everything you need organised. This is particularly true if you have a very early flight. I even lay out my clothes in the order I want to put them on! I often find I don’t sleep very well with an early alarm. I don’t need any more stress to add to my insomnia! Being as rested and having as a good a night’s sleep as possible is key to beating jet lag.
By knowing I have everything ready, I don’t lie in bed thinking about things I need to pack. There is nothing worse than trying to get to sleep when you KNOW you have an early alarm and your mind is full of things you need to do.
Don’t stress yourself out
The likelihood is, you are going to be awake, it is one of the realities when you are beating jet lag. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It is a curse of jet lag and really it is inevitable. So, try not to get stressed about it. Lie there, rest and employ all the above tips. Any kind of rest is better than no kind of rest. And the calmer you are, the more likely you are to nap when you need to.
What tips do you have for beating jet lag? I’d love to hear them!
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