Fighting Jet Lag

17 May 2013



Jet lag... the dreaded effect of crossing multiple time zones and being on long flights. Most expats will suffer from jet lag at some point during their travels and adjusting to new time zones is not easy. You may be familiar with symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, dehydration, headaches, stomach problems and having trouble concentrating when arrive at a destination that is several hours ahead or behind your point of departure. However there are ways for you to prepare your body and lessen the effects of jet lag.




Here are some beneficial tips to help you fight the effects of jet lag:


Adjust your body’s clock. Consider the time difference and begin adjusting to your destination’s time zone a week before your flight. Your body clock is used to a certain routine and it is a good idea to gradually move your schedule forward or back (depending on where you are going) so that you do everything a bit earlier or later so when you arrive, it is not a massive shock to the system.


Keep hydrated. Drink lots of water before and during your flight. Dehydration is common symptom of jet lag, so make sure you keep hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they will only make you more dehydrated especially in the dry cabin air on the plane.


Eat lighter meals. Start preparing your digestive routine to your new destination and avoid heavy, fatty or high-carb meals as these will make it harder for your body to adjust.


Adapt your schedule on the flight. If it is night time at your destination, then try to sleep on the flight, bring a travel pillow and wear eye shades and ear plugs to help you sleep. Whereas if it’s daytime try and stay awake by watching a movie or playing games on portable devices.


Consult a doctor. It might be good to get advice from your physician about medications that can help you sleep or ask them about taking melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate sleep, but it is best to check with your doctor to see if it is something you can consider.
If you are often on the move you, take a look at these apps that can help you cope with the effects of jet lag:


Jet Lag App – This nifty iOS app gives you advice about how to reduce your jet lag symptoms based on your specific trip, all you need to do is put in the information about your departure and arrival and it will do the rest.



Jet Lag Remedies – This app is great for those that always end up with stiff and tight muscles. Jet Lag Remedies recommends streches you can do during your flight so that you can stay relaxed and feel more comfortable through long travel hours and available on Android.



Jet Lag Genie – Get a customised plan focused around your flight information and normal sleeping patterns with this app. Jet Lag Genie is available for Apple devices.