Dec 03, 2017
Posted by: Daniel Walker

How to prevent and minimise the effects of jet lag and tiredness

One of the worst things about travelling overseas is having to deal with jet lag. But jet lag shouldn’t stop you from going on a holiday. To prepare you for your next trip here are some tips on how to prevent and minimise the effects of jet lag and tiredness. Remember, Jet lag is inevitable and it can’t be completely rid of but you can limit the effects of it to get your trip off to a positive start from the moment you hop off the plane at your final destination.

Jet lag and tiredness

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag occurs when your body clock, or circadian rhythms, are disrupted due to rapid travel across different timezones. Our bodies are naturally synchronised to a day and night cycle over a 24 hour period. Many of our bodies natural processes, including body temperature, hormones, our digestion, heart rate and blood pressure are timed over that 24-hour cycle. Travelling to a different time zone sends the body clock into disarray.

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Minimising the effects of jet lag and tiredness

Before the flight

Get a good sleep: Make sure you get a really good night’s sleep the night before your flight. A lack of sleep before you travel will make you more vulnerable to jet lag.

Avoid a flight that arrives at night: Flights that arrive at night will be harder for you to adjust to. Arriving during the daytime is much easier for you to stay awake and acclimatise quicker.

Eat high carb foods: Foods high in carbs can actually help you sleep better.

Split your trip up: Add a stopover into your trip. Your body will adjust to a new timezone much easier and quicker if your body has more time to adapt to a new routine. 

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During the flight

Change your clock time: Once you have taken off, adjust the time on your watch, phone, tablet and laptop to the time of your destination.

Drink water: Stay hydrated while flying. Avoid drinking alcohol and beverages high in caffeine like coffee, energy drinks and soda. Dehydration will exaggerate the effects of jet lag and fatigue at your destination. 

Lower your body temperature: Turn the air conditioning on to lower your body temperature. A lower body temperature tells your brain it is time to go to sleep.

Sleep: Sleep according to the time of your destination.

Eliminate noise and light: Eliminate all sleep distractions, turn off your screen, your overhead light, close your shade, wear an eye mask and wear ear-plugs. This will help you to get better sleep. 

Keep active: When you aren’t sleeping, stretch your legs and walk around the cabin to keep your blood flowing and to improve circulation.

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After the flight

Increase your body temperature: Elevating your body temperature can help to adjust to the new timezone sooner. Having a warm bath or doing exercise will help to increase your body temperature.

Expose yourself to sunlight: Upon arrival expose yourself to the sunlight. This will help your body to reset its internal clock and help you adapt to the new time zone much quicker.

Stay awake: Resist the temptation to sleep, this will make jet lag worse and make it last longer. Upon arrival stay awake for as long as you can and sleep according to local times.

Eat protein: Foods rich in protein contain neurochemicals that help to increase alertness.

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Thanks for reading our tips on how to prevent and minimise the effects of jet lag and tiredness. Let us know your thoughts and also your tips for minimising and reducing fatigue when travelling. 

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Daniel Walker - Author

Daniel Walker is an Australian landscape photographer, blogger, outdoor enthusiast and travel addict originally from western Sydney, now residing in Melbourne, Victoria.

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