With Christmas a distant memory, now would be a great time to book yourself a holiday to look forward to, to help recharge your batteries and give you a break from the humdrum of everyday life. While there are plenty of short haul destinations that won’t wreak havoc with your body clock, you will find that the further you choose to go, the bigger the chance of jetlag. Switching between time zones isn’t easy, and your body can often take the brunt of it, suffering with disorientation and fatigue as it tries to adjust to the new times.
Luckily, you don’t have to struggle with it as much as you might expect. While it’s inevitable that you will suffer with tiredness and a little weakness if you jetset across several time zones, for example to the USA or Down Under, there are plenty of ways in which you can help to alleviate the effects of jetlag so that it doesn’t muck up your holiday, or your return home, too much.
You can adjust to new time zones as quickly as possible by catching some Z’s whenever you can. On the outward flight, make sure you’ve had a good sleep before your departure so that, once you’ve arrived in your chosen resort, you have the energy to stay up until past their sunset. Book into an airport hotel, such as the Travelodge in Heathrow, the night before your flight so that you can rest and recharge, and try and make the most of the napping opportunities when you’re on the plane, too.
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Pay Attention to your Sleeping Patterns
This is particularly important if you decide to head to a western destination, such as Asia, Australia or New Zealand. You will find that you will be able to benefit from a stopover during these journeys to help you adjust, because travelling East to West, and having to adapt to shorter days, is far more debilitating compared with the journey home. Try and monitor your sleeping patterns and keep an eye on how much sleep you’re getting. It may be tempting to get some shut-eye as soon as you arrive at your hotel, but it won’t do you any favours if you’re going to sleep when it’s daylight outside. Try and hold off until ‘normal’ sleep hours.
While sleep is obviously a major factor when it comes to jetlag, it’s also important to stay on top of your water consumption. It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated, opting instead for a nice brew or a glass of wine during the flight instead of a bottle of water. Of course, a tipple is a lovely option, but make sure you have a bottle of water on hand too, because a banging headache from dehydration is the last thing you need when you’re shattered to boot.
Feeling worse than if you just pulled an all-nighter is not a great start, or end, to a long haul holiday. Keep this advice in mind and you will be able to adjust easier, and enjoy yourself, much sooner.