Don’t let the thought of jet lag put you off booking a long-haul holiday as there are ways to combat the effects and get the most out of your trip.
Jet lag is caused by disrupting your circadian rhythm which is the internal body clock that regulates sleep and waking. It can take up to five days to feel like your old self. The symptoms include loss of appetite, poor co-ordination and insomnia.
Before you travel
- Try and get some rest before your trip – relax and try to remain calm throughout the flight as stress can increase the severity of jet lag.
- Gradually change your sleep routine - start going to bed and getting up an hour or two earlier or later than usual (in line with the time of your destination).
- You should avoid eating a big meal before you travel or during the flight plus you should reduce your alcohol intake.
During the flight
- Cut down of caffeine/alcohol but stay hydrated.
- Alter your watch at the start of the flight.
- Stretch your legs and arms and move around whenever possible.
- Don’t be tempted to sleep throughout the flight unless it’s the normal time for sleeping in your destination.
When you arrive
- Make sure you go outside during the day - natural light will help your body clock adjust.
- Try to change your sleep schedule to the new time zone as soon as you can.
- Set an alarm to stop you from over sleeping.
There aren’t treatments for jet lag
Medicines aren't usually needed for jet lag but sleeping tablets may be helpful if you're having problems sleeping (insomnia). The NHS advises that they can be addictive so should only be used for a short time and if symptoms are severe. Always seek advise from your GP.
Consider a cruise?
If you suffer from jetlag then it might be worth considering a cruise, even to far flung destinations. You will be sailing through the time zones and advised to change your watched accordingly by an hour as you move through them. This is ideal if you wish to fly out to somewhere like the Caribbean or the far east and sail back to the UK.
If you are looking to book a long-haul flight or a cruise, give our holidays team a call and they will find you some truly amazing deals.