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Top tips on beating jet lag

Posted On 6th/Jun/2018 By sophieh

You may have heard the expression ‘west is best, east is a beast.’ This is true for long haul flights, where many of us will be trying to get to sleep when our bodies are waking up. The disruption to our normal sleeping pattern can play havoc with our energy levels and according to Mayo Clinic, it takes about a day to recover for each time zone crossed.

Data from the annual Travel Trends survey found that some 7,156,000 business trips were made by UK residents in 2017. The surge in working professionals heading to meetings abroad means longer hours and less time for rest, making jet lag a common problem for frequent travellers.

The best countries for no jet leg when travelling from the UK tends to be Western Europe and South Africa, where the local time is often just one hour ahead of GMT. Travel to North America and Oceania on the other hand can leave us with a range of symptoms, including fatigue, nausea, sore muscles, difficulty concentrating, hunger, disorientation and generally feeling unwell.

Although business travel can sound glamorous, research found that more than nine in 10 travellers suffer from stress and long, tiring flights can add to the turmoil. To make long-haul flights as simple and relaxing as possible, we’ve got a few tips to help you get through the journey.

Get a good 40 winks

Flying half way around the world is tiresome. If you stay awake for half the night before flying, there’s a good chance you’ll be exhausted by the time you arrive at your end destination. Make sure to pack your bags a couple of nights before you are set to fly so you can get some early nights in the lead up to the flight.

Avoid arriving at night

Try if possible to arrange a flight that arrives in daylight as you will have more motivation to get out and about if you have a full day ahead of you. Arriving on a business flight at the crack of dawn will leave you lethargic and heavy eyed by lunchtime.

Keep hydrated

Being at high altitudes causes our body to lose far more fluids than at lower elevations. According to the Institute for Altitude Medicine, travellers should plan to drink an extra 1 to 1.5 litres of water daily when in the air and may also need to increase their intake of carbohydrates to keep energy levels at a maximum. Both alcohol and caffeinated drinks dehydrate your body so stick with water or flavoured drinks as much as possible.

Get outside

Once you arrive at your destination, try and get outside for a bit of natural light as this will help your body and its circadian rhythm adjust to the local time zone. You don’t have to go far, but even a small stroll to a local park will do you the world of good.