How We beat Jet Lag on Long haul trips in 8 Simple Tips!
Boy, was I tired, but more so, he was exhausted and scared silly!
I am sure you read about our ordeal in Kigali my son and I? Well, don’t get caught out go read about it and be mindful of your travel documents and greedy airline staff!
Anyways, why were we both tired?
Because we hadn’t caught any Zzzzs aka sleep for over 48 hours, 14 of which we had spent on a long-haul flight that started 34 hours before! So, Jet lagged, we definitely were and then some! So much so, I slept for 18 hours strait when we got to Liverpool!
And I still felt tired when I woke up! I guess the time difference was playing tricks on me. I totally felt for our son who had to go to school same day we arrived in UK…
But I digress, So…in today’s post I would like to share with you some great ways to beat jet lag
Before I do,…
What is Jet lag?
Well according to medical know how,
“Jetlag, also called desynchronises and flight fatigue, is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of air travel across time zones. It is considered a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, which is a disruption of the internal body clock.”
The UK NHS report, says that our body clocks influence our sleeping and waking pattern, plus those circadian rhythms in:
- bowel movements
- Body temperature
- urine production
- blood pressure.
Sounds like it…So let me break it down in simple layman’s terms. In my considered view, due to years of jet setting in cattle class lol. (By the way class don’t matter here #notajetsnob):
Jetlag is exhaustion due to your body not catching up fast enough in a new time zone. Your body wants to sleep but your mind says it’s not yet bed time…So you could be on #TeamNoSleep. Sometimes the excitement and sheer dehydration from a long-haul flight in 3+ different time zones causes jet lag! And by the way your flight would have to be Going east to west or Vice-versa. So, you guys flying north/south don’t get to claim Jetlag…Huh weird stuff this! 😊
I know it doesn’t sound better, Okay lets simplify…
Jet lag happens when your body clock is disrupted by crossing a number of time zones, usually during a long-haul flight!
[clickToTweet tweet=”#Jetlag happens when your body clock is disrupted by crossing a number of time zones” quote=”Jet lag occurs when your body clock is disrupted by crossing a number of time zones”]
So now at least you, my auntie May and I kinda understand what it is!
Now what do the symptoms include?
- Feeling pretty tired,
- body aches,
- Inability to sleep as your body adjusts to the new time zone!
- Some constipation (I get this lots),
- Being Irritable and can’t concentrate much!
- The more time zones you cross, the worse the jet lag could be…yup!
The thing is your body responds to the day/night environment cycle and thus will normally not go to sleep when it’s still broad daylight. Doesn’t matter that you flew in from a destination 6 hours behind and you should be in bed under normal circumstances….!
You will definitely feel sleepy in your new time zone…Bummer, it’s party time where you are at! Can’t be a party pooper now can ya!
By the way, you won’t feel the symptoms of Jet-lag after a road trip although you could be tired and grumpy.
So, how do you get over it pretty sharpish? Or better still minimize the effects?
Jules at your service….
How to Beat Jet Lag Before You Travel
#1. Change to your Destination Routine before travel:
If you are anything like me, you stay up excited, packing last minute stuff, mithering everybody about this and that and planning lil excursions all-over.
Or even waiting to check-in online lol! That can be a killer!
BUT, there is a method to this madness…If you are among the first to check-in online you just might bag yourself a Cheap Business or First class flight upgrade…Scout’s honour! Yet Class in flight has no effect on Jet lag. You could be in First Clas and suffer even worse than one in economy!
So back to beating jet lag, how about you change your routine prior to the flight. Get as much sleep as possible. Also try to sleep earlier or later depending on which direction you will be flying East or West respectively!
We can’t tell you how surreal we felt when we arrived in Hawaii the day before, in UK time. We all felt like walking zombies for a couple of days!
RELATED: Our Ultimate Guide to Travel Smarter.
#2. Drink lots of Water Before your flight:
Yes, water is life and in this case, it literally will help you feel less puffy and tired. Hydrate, hydrate some more. Do this even throughout the flight. One of the tips we shared in our smart travel guide.
When we get to our destination, we do our best to grab some naps here and there preferably on a sun-lounger…Apparently, exposure to Vitamin D or sunlight helps with sleep adjustment!
How to Beat Jet Lag During Your Flight
#3. Do your research
Determine your time zone on take-off and when you land. If you travel on the red eye and your destination will be evening when you land, this is what we do. We do our best to stay awake enroute. We enjoy the inflight entertainment, pretend we are on a long evening date. Or simply get stuff done on the Laptop. That means we will be able to sleep when we get to our destination. (There are only so many hours the body can stay awake.)
[clickToTweet tweet=”Enjoy inflight entertainment, pretend you’re are on a long date #beatjetlag” quote=”enjoy the inflight entertainment, pretend we are on a long evening date”]
#4. Eat well.
What? Well most people have to get to airports hours before their flights and most live at least 1hour+ away. Plus, the check in time and then wait to board. You don’t get served a meal immediately the flight takes off.
In fact, on our most recent Brussels Airlines flight, we were served a meal 2 hours into the flight. So, give or take 6+ hours of no food, that can affect your metabolism. And increase the jet lag. So, eat a good hearty meal, ask for more on board lol! There is always some extra!
#5. Hydrate inflight
To beat Jet lag and its symptoms, you gotta drink lots. Am not talking about glugs of ale, wine, spirits and whatever the airline offers. (Truth be told I do take my fair share, between bottles of water…) It’s all about balance right! 😊
So, once again, hydrate, hydrate and do so some more in flight. I don’t go anywhere without my refill bottle that I get the flight attendants to replenish with water. They don’t normally charge water extra! I also spray my face with water to keep cool. I believe it hydrates my skin too 😊
#6. Use an App
Yup, we like to think we are digital nomads and so we keep an eye out for any Travel Apps and technology. There is an app for jet lag. In fact, quite a few. A travel app can tell you the time zone you are heading to and when to sleep.
We cannot emphasize how much, our travel app has totally enhanced the way we travel.
For your next long-haul why not download an app. Check out: the Jet Lag App on your apple store or play store for android! This app claims to reduce symptoms of jet lag!
[clickToTweet tweet=”For your next long-haul why not download an app #combatjetlag” quote=”For your next long-haul why not download an app”]
You could even use British Airways Jet Lag Adviser for personalised or customised advice on how to combat your jet lag. This is more practical when you get to your destination!
How to Beat Jet Lag on Landing:
#7. To Nap or Not to Nap
Okay we have determined that jet lag is all about sleep deprivation. Therefore, to beat it you gotta find a balance. It also depends on your destination. If you land in the day time and your usual time zone is bed time, try not to give in to the urge to sleep/nap. Until its bed time. That way you acclimatise to the new time zone.
Other schools of thought say do not nap at all. They claim that will help with getting to sleep when you need to. I say Listen to your body and do what feels right for you!
#8 Plan a Spa Day
Some people plan their spa day before the trip so they look a million bucks on vacation.
I say book your best spa day after the trip. Long distance travel can be stressing and you will thank you later. That massage, sauna or steam treatment will improve circulation, help with any swollen legs or puffiness and suck out all that travel related stress. You will feel the way you should after a vacation!
RECOMMENDED: How to Prevent Swollen Ankles During a Flight
Final Words on How to Beat Jet lag:
I’m sure you are wondering; how can I prevent jet lag? Sorry mate, the bad news is you cannot! Well that’s what the experts say…But you can beat it, or minimise and manage the symptoms.
We have given you the insider tips. Now go enjoy your next long haul trip with less fatigue… If in any doubt check out the UK Civil Aviation Authority website for more information on combating Jet lag…Yes you are most welcome! 😊
So did you enjoy our post on How to Beat Jet Lag Fast? We sure hope we have given you some pointers to avoid feeling crappy and puffed up after your next long haul. And if we did, do Save/Pin it and Share on Social Media…
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