It's the scourge of all long haul travellers. Disrupted sleep, banging headaches and feeling like you’re on another planet is never fun, so we’ve put together some tips to help avoid the dreaded jet lag…
Before the flight...
Plenty of sleep before you travel will help. If you’re tired before you leave the jet lag is going to be even worse, so make sure you get your eight hours in the run up to your holiday.
Change your sleep routine
It can be tricky but, if you’re able to, changing your sleep pattern a few days before you travel can also go a long way to avoiding jet lag. Get up and go to bed earlier (if you're travelling east) or later (if you're travelling west).
Include a stopover
Including a stopover in your flight will make it easier to adjust to the time change, and you'll be less tired when you arrive and more able to start your holiday straight away.
During the flight...
Say no to alcohol and caffeine
Even though it’s tempting to have a few drinks in the airport lounge or on the plane to get into the holiday spirit, you’re better off refraining as it’s just going to make your jet lag worse. Buy a few bottles of water to drink on the plane and stay hydrated.
Preparing for sleep
During your flight, try to create the right conditions when preparing for sleep. Try using an eye mask and earplugs and take a set of comfortable clothes to change into on the plane.
The NHS advises againt sleeping medication, as it doesn't help your body to adjust naturally to a new sleeping pattern.
Once you’re there...
Try to stay awake until it’s night time. If you really can’t manage it have a power nap, but no longer than 45 minutes.
Once you arrive at your destination avoid heavy meals as your body is adjusting. A light snack is okay. Try and eat a protein-rich breakfast the next day as this will help you feel more awake.
The cycle of light and dark is one of the most important factors in setting the body’s internal clock. If you’ve travelled east avoid bright light in the morning and if you’ve travelled west avoid sunlight a few hours before dark for the first few days.