How I avoid jet lag

Having been to Europe twice, which means flying across two time zones (the first of which is only an hour and a half difference from Adelaide), I have successfully* managed to reset my body clock to the new zone both times. I wanted to share the “how” with you.

1. Get a good night’s sleep before you travel. Starting a trip tired is the pits.

2. As soon as you get on the plane, switch your watch to the new time zone. This helps psychologically.

3. If you board late at night for the second leg, try and sleep – or at least doze – during that part. Personally, I find taking an anti-histamine and having a couple of glasses of wine (henceforth known as a “sleep aid”) sends me off to Cloud Cuckoo Land in no time.

4. I will usually eat only on the first part of the journey (before connecting in Singapore), but not on the second part from Singapore to Europe – at least, not until after I have slept. A number of studies link fasting with resetting our circadian rhythms.

5. Whatever meal time it is when you land, eat that. I tend to use the last plane meal as my first meal, which (so far) has been breakfast. Use food to signal “time”. This is in line with the research mentioned in #4 above.

6. Stay awake as long as you can. Don’t nap! I can usually make if to about 6.30pm. I wander around, get my bearings, and have an easy day and an early dinner.

7. Use sleep aids if you feel you have to. Better to wake up groggy (which you can easily shake off) than exhausted because you have had a broken, unproductive sleep. And this could go on for days…

8. I’ve found your waste management system will quickly catch up with your sleep patterns. Within a day, that was pretty much sorted for me.

* I’m still working on the reset for when I get home. Took me about two or three weeks to adjust last year, but I’m hoping a five day stopover in Singapore will help. They say it’s easier going, than coming back.

4 Comments

  • BookabyeBaby September 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    The only time I’ve been to Europe I found it much easier on the way there than on the way back. Will have to try some of your tips if I’m ever lucky enough to travel again.

    Reply
    • dileeshus September 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Agree, much easier adjusting there than back. You’ll get there again, Mel… just keep your eye on the prize xo

      Reply
  • Susan Cooper September 6, 2013 at 2:07 am

    As I often travel I know the affects that jet lag has. This tips are great. 🙂

    Reply
    • dileeshus September 6, 2013 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Susan. All I can say is what works for me 🙂

      Reply

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