How well do you manage international travel? Do you struggle with jet lag?
The Public Health Agency of Canada and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) recommend taking steps before you travel: make a point of being well rested before departing, and switch up your routines. If your travels will take you west of home, the NHS recommends going to bed later than normal, and rising later. If your flights will take you east, it encourages rising and going to bed earlier than usual for a few days.
Then, during your flight, plan to eat and sleep according to the local time of your destination, rather than the locale from which you departed. During your flight(s), be sure to stay hydrated, and know that you’ll be better served with water than alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Consider packing eye shades and popping in earplugs to help tune out sounds.
If you’re away for more than three days, then you’ll want to aim for at least four hours of sleep during your destination’s night time hours. If that proves difficult, aim for naps during the day in order to try and get your regular number of hours of sleep. Ensuring you’re out of a darkened room during daylight hours at your destination is considered key to helping your internal clock adjust to the new time zone.
On arriving in new destinations, well known traveller Rick Steeves makes a point of staying awake until an early bedtime in that vicinity. He suggests that fresh air, daylight and exercise are jet lag’s nemeses, and encourages travellers to take a good walk to keep moving until early rising locals are also heading to sleep.
If you’d like an automated system to help you keep common sense approaches to beating jet lag, you may want to look at Jet Lag Genie.
A note: All price quotes reflect those in place at date of publication. You’ll want to check security and cloud implications, as well as pricing in your currency, before downloading.