Our four top tips for beating jet lag

With the summer months approaching, more and more people will be jetting off to sunnier climes to escape the infamously unreliable British weather and the prospect of a barbecue in the back garden doused in a sudden downpour. But international travel comes with its own problems, not least having to overcome considerable jet lag before you can enjoy what a different time zone has to offer.
With your body clock disrupted and your sleeping schedule out of synch, jet lag can lead not only to disorientation and exhaustion, but also to feeling considerably unwell in the most extreme cases. Thankfully, there are things you can do to beat jet lag, or at the very least reduce its impact, and help you get over it a little quicker.

  1. Adjust your sleep pattern before you depart – this can be easier said than done, but if you’re able to change your sleep routine in the days leading up to your flight, either by going to bed later or getting up earlier than usual, it can reduce the shock to your system once you arrive. Sleeping on the plane is also a valuable option if you’re able to do so. Eye masks, ear plugs and comfortable travel clothing can all help to make this easier to do.
  2. Include a stopover in your journey – stopping over somewhere as you travel to your final destination can be effective in helping your body to gradually adjust to being in different time zones. If you can leave the airport, take the opportunity to explore the local area but even if you can’t, make sure you schedule in a revitalising activity to leave you feeling de-stressed and refreshed.
  3. Hydrate yourself – failing to stay hydrated often makes the effects of jet lag worse. That complimentary glass of wine or third cup of coffee, as well as the plane’s conditioned air, will all work together to leave you dehydrated, so make sure you drink water regularly too. Bring an empty plastic bottle with you and ask the flight attendants to refill it for you throughout the journey.
  4. Break free of the airline’s meal times – bringing your own healthy snacks for the flight will allow you to eat when you want, whilst eating light helps your body clock to adjust more quickly to the mealtimes in your new time zone. By the same token, a big meal mid-flight in the middle of the night can make your jet lag feel worse once you arrive.