Many of us will be taking trips abroad to catch some ‘winter sun’ for the festive period and over the next few months and, for longer journeys, that can lead to jet lag. The experience of flying can leave us feeling a bit disorientated, starting from the time we reach the airport where we have to go through all the various checks and procedures in very busy environment. When this is combined with differences in time zones, it can lead to us being a bit sluggish and struggling to sleep.
We’ve put together some tips to help ease the symptoms of jet lag.
Stay hydrated whilst travelling
Flying can cause dehydration because there is a controlled environment inside an aeroplane. The combination of air filtering and a lower humidity of around 10% – 20% is the cause of this, as normal everyday environments usually have a humidity of around 35% - 60%. So, make sure you drink at least 250ml (8 fluid ounces) of water per hour. It is also best to avoid diuretics such as coffee and alcohol in-flight. You can also use a facial mist spray to moisturise, relax of rejuvenate your face.
Eat lightly just before and during your flight
This will help you to adjust more easily to the eating times of your destination. Avoid heavy, greasy food that will make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. If you want to snack, then stick to fruit and low sodium options. However, if you prefer not to eat and are hoping to get some sleep, then put a ‘do not disturb’ note on your lap or tray.
Keep ‘working time’ to a minimum
If you need to work, then do so, but bear in mind that the flight is part of your holiday too, so make sure you allow some relaxation time, whether that’s reading a good book, listening to music or watching some in-flight entertainment.
Get up and move
This is really important, especially on longer flights when you are sitting for long periods of time in a more cramped environment. Moving around increases the blood flow to your legs and reduces the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Try to get out of your seat around every 2 to 3 hours and walk up and down the aisle. You can also do some light exercises, such as stretching and standing on tip toe whilst standing up or flexing and rotating your ankles.
Use an eye mask and ear plugs
Even when the cabin lights are dim and the other passengers around you are relaxing, it can be difficult to sleep, so an eye mask and ear plugs will help create a quieter, darker environment.
Don’t nap when you arrive at your destination
It’s easier to synchronise your body to the time zone of your destination if you can hold off napping until it is time to sleep where you are. Continue to drink water regularly and try to avoid heavy meals as this will help you adjust.
Keep it natural
Avoid taking any medication to help you to sleep. Put the emphasis on resting, rather than sleeping.
Did you know...
...that our gorgeous, individually handcrafted, British wool folding pillows are perfect for travelling? You can unfold them and lie them flat on the top of your suitcase - or take them on the plane with you for extra snuggly comfort. That way you can take your favourite pillow with you, wherever you go! Find out more here.