Great news - you’re off to your dream holiday to a land far, far away. So far away, that it is in a different time zone, and this may mean that the dreaded jet lag can kick in when you least expect it. Fear not, here are our top 7 tips on how to help minimise the effects of jet lag.
What is Jet Lag?
Our body works on its own natural 24 hour clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. When we are traveling through time zones, we disrupt our internal clock, resulting in us feeling sluggish and tired. The length of the flight alone can make us feel exhausted, especially if it is a long haul one where our activity and movements are limited. However, if we combine that with the direction we are flying in, be it north, west, south or east, we will get the perfect recipe for a high jet lag probability.
Am I Jet Lagged?
Some of the most common symptoms of jet lag can include headaches, exhaustion, fatigue, disturbed sleep, constipation, diarrhoea, finding it hard to focus and mood swings. If you have traveled recently and notice any of these symptoms, be sure to speak to your pharmacist or doctor to find the best solution to your particular condition.
Top 7 Tips to Help with Jet Lag
- Change your routine slightly before you travel to reflect the routine you are likely to have once you land. This means going to bed earlier if you’re headed east, or later if you are going west.
- Packing, rushing to the airport, checking in and printing tickets can stress even the calmest of people out. What’s more, stress may contribute to jet lag symptoms becoming worse. Bes thing to do is to make a plan: Print out your tickets in advance, make a list of what you want to pack, set the alarm (on two clocks – just in case!) and make sure you catch some shut eye.
- Water, water, water. To help your body adjust as quickly as possible, make sure you drink a lot of water. We know you’ve heard it all before – but it makes a massive difference, honest!
- Once you’re at your destination, try to catch as much outdoor sun light as possible, (don’t forget sunscreen!) this will help you internal clock adapt to the new time zone faster.
- Is your holiday just a mini break? If it is, it is worth staying on your own time, rather than adjusting your body clock only to readjust again! So if it’s just three to four days you will be away for, it may be worth sticking it out.
- Some people opt for sleeping tablets to help them ease the disrupted sleep that jet lag can be associated with. If you are thinking of trying this remedy, always consult with your pharmacist or doctor first to find out whether this option is suitable for you. Alternatively, find out if melatonin tablets are right for you through Superdrug Online Doctor service.
- Once you are back, it’s important you catch up on your sleep. Allow yourself a day of rest and relaxation… and possibly your favourite box set!