15 ways to beat jet lag

2014-07-15 16:37
We all love to travel.  

I mean, who doesn’t like hopping on a plane and heading off for a far flung corner of the planet – whether to explore or relax.

However, often the pure joy of adventure is marred by the very real pain and suffering of that necessary evil: jet lag.  

While there are many opinions on what the best cures for jet lag are, the fact is that prevention is definitely the way to go. 

So, if you’re travelling somewhere a few time zones away anytime soon, here are 15 tips from Thomas Cook for beating the jet lag beast.

Before going:

1. Change your sleep routine



Going West – start going to bed a bit later a few days before your trip.

Going East – start going to bed a bit earlier a few days before your trip.

2. Wear sunglasses



Your circadian rhythm responds to your eyes detecting light. Controlling your exposure to natural and artificial light can help change it.  

3. Plan a stopover  



It’s a good way to let the body adjust gradually to new time zones.

4. Keep calm



Try simplifying your travel plans as far as possible.

During your flight: 

5. Time your activities



Try to eat and sleep according to the times of your destination.

6. Use remedies with caution



Using melatonin or other sleeping remedies is not recommended, as it won’t help your body adjust naturally.

7. Drink water



And avoid alcohol and caffeine to prevent dehydration. 

8. Get comfortable



Earplugs, eye masks, cushions, blankets – whatever it takes!


9. Keep active



Stretch your legs regularly and take walks around the cabin.

At your destination:

10. Spend the day outdoors



Exposure to daylight helps you adjust to the new time zone a little faster.  

11. Going west?



Get more morning light as soon after arrival as possible.

12. Going east?



Afternoon light is your friend.

13. Get your ‘anchor sleep’



Try to get a minimum of 4 hours sleep during the local night.  

14. Stay on ‘home time’ for short trips



If you’re staying for less than 4 days, and it’s possible, plan meals and sleeping according to your home country clock.

15. Recover lost sleep 



Take short naps to get the same amount of sleep you would normally have in a 24-hour window. 

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