In an ideal world, there would not be such a thing as jetlag and we could all walk off a 14 hour flight looking crisp and like a million bucks, which would be pretty cool right? Unfortunately this almost never happens, and although those of us who are frequent travelers have probably found handy and tactful solutions to deal with jetlag (at least a little easier) than the rest of us by now; for the remainder, jetlag can seem horrible and undefeatable (think sleep deprived, puffy eyes, hungry, dehydrated, dried out skin, fatigued…..and the list goes on)..
As a result of crossing numerous time zones, it really mucks up our body’s natural rhythm, and it can sometimes even take a few days for our bodies to re-adjust back to its normal ‘schedule’ again.
Below are some simple ideas that may help to reduce jetlag, even the slightest…
Water…and plenty of it
It seems like an obvious one, but it is really important to keep your fluids up during long haul and even short flights. It should come as no surprise that the air on planes is a shocker for dehydration so keeping bottled water with you is essential. Your skin and body will thank you for it! And never be afraid to ask the air hostesses for any – it is there job after all to cater the needs of those flying.
Setting the time to your destination
As soon as you board the flight, set the time on your watch, phone, and laptop (or whatever it may be) to the time it is at your destination. This will help mentally prepare yourself for the new time zone once you land (and to avoid confusion).
If you love sleep and want to sleep more peacefully whilst your flying (who doesn’t?!), then packing a pillow from home is mandatory! Not only does it create far better comfort than those typical ‘travel pillows’ in supermarkets, but actually having pillow is 100 times better – and if it’s a pillow you use regularly at home it will even remind you of home! The trick to packing a pillow on board is rolling it up really tight and tying it with a piece of ribbon, belt or anything that will keep it nice and tight for when you don’t need it.
Just like how your sleeping patterns are affected by crossing multiple time zones, you’re eating patterns are going to be out of whack too. Meal times aren’t generally appropriate times to your destinations, so you will more likely to be eating at all different times of the day and night to what you would normally at home. To avoid this as much as you can, I always try to pack healthy snacks with me on board that I can eat during the flight. By doing this, you are able to eat regularly and eat lighter and healthier than some of the often heavy airplane food served.
If you can help it, try to avoid sleeping on the plane until it hits night time in your destination and sleep according to when you would usually go to sleep at home. Packing things like earplugs, eye shades, pillow, thick socks and a warm blanket will help you sleep more comfortably and easier. Switch of all technology around you to stop distractions and allow you to really get some proper rest.
Exercise every hour
Lets face it, long haul flights can be long, boring and exhausting! Doing light exercises from your seat can break up the trip plus also get your body moving to avoid cramping and blood clotting. Once every hour, it’s a great idea to do ankle and foot movements and rotations from your seat. Also, getting up and stretching your legs by walking up and down the plane isle a few times will give your legs a good stretch.
Each individual is different and some people prefer certain seats over others i.e.. Window and isle seating…I personally always opt for the window seat as my first option, as to me, this means more undisturbed sleep and more rest. It comes with negatives of course though, for e.g. the risk of disturbing the person beside you if you need to get up.. so weighing up what works best for you and choosing seating that will be of more benefit. Questions such as “do I like to get up often to walk and stretch my legs?” Or “do I need/or will I want to go to the bathroom often?” Thinking about these sorts of scenarios will help you pick your seating arrangements according to your needs.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Although alcohol for some can ease any flight anxiety or make you feel sleepy in order to sleep easier, it is important to remember that it is extremely dehydrating, as is coffee. It can seem hard to resist the free temptations of alcohol while flying, but this can quickly ware off.
Tired, puffy eyes and dry skin are never an appealing look anyone wants. In your carry-on baggage, packing some essential beauty items such as face wipes, a creamy moisturiser and lip balm to re-freshen up while on the plane and again once you land or stopover at your destination will make you feel a million times better!