Whether you are travelling abroad for work or escaping it all for a relaxing week away, feeling healthy and fresh on arrival, is always a bonus. Unfortunately those trips that involve crossing multiple time zones can wreak havoc with our internal body clock – commonly known as jet lag.
Jet lag goes far beyond simple fatigue. In fact, there are a whole range of symptoms that can occur when our bodies struggle to adapt to a new light-dark schedule. Along with the common symptoms of disturbed sleep and lethargy, sufferers may experience a change in appetite, digestion, blood pressure and body temperature. And while jet lag is inevitable when you are crossing 7 or more time zones, there are a few easy tips that can greatly reduce its effects.
Here we share five easy tips to make sure jet lag does not affect your continental trip:
Say no to the drinks trolley
As tempting as it maybe to order a few glasses of wine or bottles of beer during a flight, it is something that definitely should be avoided if you are travelling long haul. Drinking alcohol may feel like a nice way to relax and may even help you nap. But the resulting dehydration will do you know favours and probably give you a nasty headache. It’s important to be aware that while alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it does not result in quality, restful sleep.
One of the most effective methods of fighting jet lag is to stay hydrated before and during your flight. This means watching your alcohol intake the week before flying to avoid dehydration.
A little bit of exercise before you fly is a great way to beat in-flight lethargy and you don’t necessarily need to commit to a full workout, either. Just make smart choices at the airport, instead of taking the escalators and travelators, take the stairs or carry out some light stretching before you set off for the airport.
Remember, you are going to be sat in a small space, for many hours so it is important to maintain blood circulation. Getting up and taking a walk whenever possible can help to keep your blood moving and prevent any numbness. Even whilst seated, stretching out your legs and wiggling your toes can help to keep your body in a better condition. It will also help to reduce the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis.
Time it right:
It is important to psychologically adjust to your new time zone as soon as possible so you are mentally prepared for the alteration to your sleep–wake cycle. Changing your eating schedule to match your new time zone is a great place to start. If you land in the morning, make sure you eat breakfast even if you are not hungry to get you settled sooner.
Tackle it with tech:
Adjusting your sleep schedule the week before you travel can be a tricky business, but thankfully there are plenty of apps out there that help you create and stick to a helpful sleeping plan before you go.
Choose your medication wisely:
It maybe a popular tactic, but taking sleeping pills on-flight should be avoided as they will only add to your drowsiness on arrival. However, there are other forms of medication that are better suited to tackling jet lag. Circadin is currently the only medication available with the active ingredient Melatonin – the hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle.
If you want to find out more about Circadin directly, talk to a member of our pharmacy team by using our Live Chat tool.