While script writers might forget that the world is separated into time zones, your body won’t. So if you’re flying long range, your body and its sleep cycle will go bonkers. Everyone calls this phenomenon “jet lag.” Here are some ways to deal with it.
- Forewarned is forearmed
Naturally, this doesn’t apply if you’re already experiencing jet lag due to your jump through the longitudes. However, you can pre-empt jet lag with some preparation. First, you can endeavour to get a flight that does not arrive at night – and then you can stay up to 22:00 (that’s 10 PM), which will make you doze off easier.
Similarly, you can start adjusting your body to the new time zone by going to sleep and waking up either earlier or later (as the situation requires) even before the flight. You probably don’t need to go the full way and become a nightstalker if your destination is halfway around the world, but even starting the shift to one direction will help. You can also set your watch (probably on your phone) to the new time zone to adjust psychologically. Best do that when you’re already on the plane, tho!
- Eat 4 Sleep
If you have read at least one blog on the internet, you already know that each person is ready to recommend you a diet: it helps them and should help you, too (it’s really weird when that happens when you’re looking for plumbing advice). Therefore, some flyers will recommend jet lag diets.
However, none of them have been clinically proven to work. Instead, you should not eat foods high in carb or fat before your bedtime. Same goes for alcohol and coffee (though I don’t think you need to be told about the latter). On a similar vein, stay hydrated before, during and after the flight. You are already used to water and you will resent its absence – especially if you’re experiencing jet lag!
- Bust a move
Moving: it does the body good (velocity and terrain-related exceptions may apply). Therefore, you should not spend your flight doing your best impression of a sack of potatoes. Get up, walk around, do some stretches and generally tell your body that it’s acting and not just resting in an uncomfortable pose. This will help in your fight against jet lag. .
However, don’t exercise once you’re back on the ground and ready to go to bed. Putting your body in a mood for action doesn’t help you fall asleep. Actually, this works for non-jet lag-related circumstances, too. If you want physical activity to drive you to sleep, arrive early in the day and spend the day doing tourist stuff.
- Make the bed you’ll sleep in
It’s a metaphor, really, as the hotel maid will probably have prepared it for you. What you can do is ensure that your room provides a good environment for the production of z’s. Sleeping when you’re jet lagged is hard enough without distractions! That’s why you should close the curtains, turn off TVs and other lights, secure the faucets (to prevent them from dripping and so on).
You should also have an eye mask or earplugs, just in case the room is uncooperative. Oh, and if you have a chance, take a hot bath. Your body needs some relaxation from all the flying/tourism you did, and those dust of the road need washing off, too. Treat yourself, as they say.
But however well prepared for jet lag you might be, your plans can still be ruined by flight delays, cancellations and overbooking. If that happens, claim flight compensation via Skycop. Considering how long the jet lag inducing flights can be, you’re posed to get up €600 in compensation. This will allow you to buy a set of earplugs that will be the envy of princes and kings the world over!