7 Tips To Beat Jet-Lag And Flying Blues
Who doesn’t love an overseas vacation? But even as one counts the days down to the start of a long-awaited trip to far-flung places in the world, dreaming of all there is to see and do, jet-lag and the tyranny that are long-haul flights are like dark clouds casting shadows on a bright, happy day. While both are inevitable in the pursuit of our happy places, there are ways to limit their impact on our moods and our bodies. Here are seven tips that can help.
If premium economy is an option, take it
Most of us can’t afford business or first class tickets, but if your airline offers premium economy seats-the ones with more leg room, but not the wider seats of business or first class-it’s worth making room for them in your budget. Being able to stretch your legs will allow the blood to circulate more freely, which will help you sleep better and be more rested when you land. Seats to avoid like the plague? The back rows, which experience the most amount of upheaval during turbulence and those near the lavatory.
Don’t deprive yourself of sleep
The excitement of a long-awaited holiday, or all the last-minute tying up of loose ends before you leave for one can mean you’re seriously sleep-deprived by the time you board the plane. While tiring yourself out to the point that you spend the entire flight duration sleeping might seem like a good idea for a long-haul flight, it can backfire badly. It takes a fair degree of physical resilience to adjust enough to fall asleep on a flight, and in case you have trouble, the result will be that when you land you’ll be even more exhausted than before. Who wants to start a vacation on that note?
Don’t get drunk or rely on medical sleeping aids on the flight
They might knock you out and get the job done, but they will also end up making you feel groggy and disoriented when you finally wake up. Besides, alcohol will seriously dehydrate you, which is already a problem on flights. Avoid alcohol entirely or limit intake to one or two drinks, at most. Use sleeping pills only after you’ve tried everything else.
Kit up for the plane ride
The condition that you land in will set the tone for how you feel for the first few days (and nights) of your vacation, so spend some time and thought preparing for it. As a rule of thumb, wear comfortable, loose and appropriately warm clothing, carry a neck pillow, eye-mask and ear plugs. Also, keep your skin, lips and nails hydrated with a light, non-sticky hydtrating lotion. You want to get off the plane feeling as fresh as you possibly can.
Make small changes to your schedule a week in advance
If you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep in a new bed, a week or 10 days before leaving, try falling asleep in different places in your house to help acclimatise your body. Depending on where you’re travelling to, you can also either start going to bed a couple of hours later or earlier, so that the time difference doesn’t feel too drastic when you finally start your vacation.
Try landing during daytime
Your body-clock might be telling you it’s time for bed, but if it’s bright and sunny when you land, you might be able to coax your body out of sleep mode and into an explorative excited mood. Tiring yourself through the day will help you fall asleep in the night even if your body clock is inverted.
Remind yourself to be patient
Flying even for a couple of hours can be a tiring experience, so a long-haul flight is bound to be exhausting, leaving you with frayed nerves. It might also make you moody and easily irritable. Remember, everyone around you is feeling exactly the same way, and no one benefits when everyone is snappy. Be patient with the cabin crew and your co-passengers. Being in a foul, anxious mood will only make it that much harder for you to fall asleep and get rest.
Do you have any tips and tricks to beat jet-lag or tiredness after a long flight? Tell us in the comments below.