Jet lag is one of the few downsides of long haul travel. As you cross time zones your body doesn’t have any time to adjust; meaning when you land you can feel somewhat out of sorts. Whether you’ve gone forward or backward in time, suddenly you’re tired and hungry at all the wrong times.
Before you travel
Light can play a big part in your sleep cycle, with gentle lighting promoting relaxation whilst harsh, superficial lighting prompts the body to wake up and feel more alert. Using light stimulation you can shift your natural sleeping patterns to better coincide with your destination. For a few days prior to your flight try to shift them by an hour a day, getting up earlier if heading east and later if heading west.
When in the air, try to sync yourself to your destination. Most airlines will try to feed you in sync with your destination and you should eat when offered. Most will also try to give you some time to sleep, dimming the cabin lights. Whilst you may not feel tired, you may want to try giving sleep a go, or at least closing your eyes and relaxing for a while. Also remember to drink plenty of water, many people become dehydrated on planes which can add to the ill effects of jet lag, especially when coffee and alcohol are consumed.
In your chosen destination try to sleep and eat in sync with your surroundings. This may be difficult at first, but it will help give your body a rhythm to slip in to. If you find yourself awake in the early hours, try to stay relaxed and don’t be tempted to start working or hitting the gym. If you do find you have to sleep, do limit yourself to a short nap to ensure the smoothest transition in your sleeping habits.
Of course upgrading to business or first class, or even chartering a private jet will help. These options offer better sleeping arrangements and quieter cabins enabling you to most likely sleep much better and longer than in economy. Chartering also has the added benefit of much shorter wait times at the airport, as you’ll be able to arrive just half an hour before your flight, and also as they’re able to use smaller airports, you may be able to take off and land much closer to your home and final destination.
But regardless of whether you travel economy, business, first, or on a private jet, try to above tips and see if you can arrive a little less jet lagged.
Sam is the Travel & Aviation Writer for Air Charter Service and specialises in luxury travel as well as aviation and travel technology. He creates unique content for the worldwide network of ACS websites, utilising his wealth of destination knowledge as well as his love for all things travel, which you’ll find highlighted across his social media channels.