Jet lag is defined as the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms due to swift time zone changes. This is when your body’s natural 24 hour clock gets disrupted, resulting in tiredness, fatigue and lethargy.
Holidays in far away places are amazing, but the jet lag that comes with them not so much. This is why we have created a list of tips to help you beat jet lag on your next group trip, so that you can make the most of your holiday with your friends!
Plan for time zone change
Help your body prepare for the time zone change by adjusting your schedule a few days before your flight. Start with 30 minute increments each day. Even if you don’t make it 100% to the destination time, this technique will help your internal clock adapt easier as it reduces the shift.
This way your body will be somewhat used to the local schedule upon arrival.
Fly at night
If possible, fly during your destination country’s night time. This way you can tire yourself out during the day – go to the gym or for a run before the flight and sleep your way through the night – so that you wake up refreshed and ready for your holiday.
Prepare luggage early
This one is a no-brainer, but something that many of us tend to leave for the last possible moment as packing is such a tedious task. However packing at the last minute can be a major cause of stress and anxiety pre-flight, so be smart and pack ahead of time.
Flying for several hours can take a serious toll on your body’s health due to dehydration. Make sure to avoid alcohol and caffeine and drink plenty of water throughout your flight. Don’t rely on in-flight beverages and bring a large water bottle with you.
It’s important to keep moving throughout your flight whenever you’re not sleeping to avoid bad blood circulation which leads to feeling lethargic upon arrival. Take breaks to exercise and walk up and down the plane aisles. You can even exercise in your seat as shown below.
This one ties in with the point about dehydration. Alcohol will dehydrate you, spike your blood sugar levels and raise your blood pressure. All of these things contribute to post-flight lethargy and fatigue. The rule is: one drink in the air affects your body like three drinks on the ground.
Expose yourself to natural light as much as you can once you arrive. This will wake your body up naturally and ensure that you get used to the new time zone by resetting your natural clock faster.
Stay up until bed time
Another tool to reset your body’s circadian rhythm is to stay up until bed time in your destination country the night before your flight. This is in order to prepare yourself for the time zone ahead, and your body gets used to the new schedule faster once you arrive. Once there, avoid taking naps and stay up normally. This will be difficult for the first day, but it is a very effective way to adjust.
Adjust your meal schedule
Our body’s natural clock is partially dictated by our stomachs, as stated by the creator of the Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet, Dr. Charles F. Erhet. This is why you should try to resist eating during your destination country’s night time hours, in order to adapt. Make sure you eat at the correct dinner time, sleep and then have breakfast at the right time. You will be able to sleep better and wake up refreshed, ready for a new day.
What’s your go-to tip for avoiding jet lag? Let us know in the Facebook comments!
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