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How to beat jet lag in 6 easy steps

Restore your sleep pattern with these simple tips

woman yawning© Photo: iStock
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
August 3, 2017
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There's nothing quite like jetlag to make you feel like you need a holiday as soon as you return! While it is difficult to completely avoid jetlag on long-distance journeys, there are a few things you can do during and after your journey to ease some of the symptoms.


Rest on the plane:

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Although this may be easier said than done in cramped airline seats, try and get some sleep on the plane if you can – especially if you are travelling to somewhere in a time zone a few hours behind GMT, i.e. the United States. Invest in some accessories like an eye mask and ear plugs if you have trouble nodding off.

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Sync your body clock:

You can start to mentally prepare for the time change by adjusting your watch to your destination's time zone as soon as you board your flight.


Stay active:

As tempting as it may be to take a quick afternoon nap when you're feeling jetlagged and sleepy, try to keep moving and get outside. Daylight stops the secretion of melatonin, which is thought of as the sleep hormone, so go out for some fresh air and a brisk walk to wake yourself up.

Avoid caffeine:

disposable coffee cup© Photo: iStock

Similarly, try to avoid relying on tea and coffee to fend off your tiredness as it will only worsen your jet lag in the long run. Instead stay hydrated with water and herbal teas, and avoid alcohol.

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Re-adjust to your time zone:

Heading straight back to work after your holiday? Ensure you're not snoozing at your desk by adjusting your body to the right time zone in advance. Moving your bedtime even slightly can make a big difference – if you're flying east to get home, go to bed earlier, and if you're flying west, move your bedtime later.

Wind down:

Even if you're feeling awake at bedtime, avoid scrolling through social media or using electronic devices and make the effort to switch off. Ensure your bedroom is comfortable and conducive to a good night's sleep by keeping it dark and a cool temperature – the optimal temperature is between 16 and 21⁰C.

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