Humans have managed to create a solution to many common ailments faced. One ailment that we haven’t yet managed to ‘cure’ is jetlag. Whenever a person travels across time zones their circadian rhythms get disturbed, resulting in tiredness, irritability, insomnia and other unpleasant symptoms. This can cut into your precious holiday time, and nobody wants to land at their accommodation in Harare, only to head straight to bed. Here are some tips for beating jetlag and enjoying your break.
- Drink plenty…
…of water, that is. It’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol on the plane and stick to plenty of water. Even if you only plan on consuming alcohol in moderation it can still disrupt your body when it’s in a sensitive state after landing. Remember that the inside of a plane is temperature controlled and it tends to have a very low humidity environment, which experts believe can make you lose up to two litres of water in a ten hour flight.
- Fast from food
New research suggests that our body clock is impacted by our patterns of eating. If possible, avoid eating before flying and once onboard, consume meals as if you’re already in your new time zone. When you do eat, stay away from salty, fatty foods and snacks that could dehydrate you and place additional strain on your body to digest.
- Avoid drugs
Prescription strength sleeping pills might seem like a miracle cure for skipping jetlag, but the grogginess you feel afterwards won’t be worth it. If you want to try sleep through your trip, try natural remedies such as melatonin. If you’re able to, avoid sleeping until you arrive or reach what would be night-time in your new time zone.
- Avoid the screen
Spending hours cooped up in a confined environment can make you grumpy. However, watching a movie, reading an e-book or staring at your screen isn’t a helpful way to relax. Prolonged exposure to screen lights prevents your body from releasing melatonin and messes with your body clock. Try colouring, knitting or reading a paperback or hardcover instead.
Making the above adjustments to your pre-flight behaviour might seem silly, but when you step off your plane feeling ready to begin your break you’ll be glad you did.
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