5 ways to prevent being thrown into orbit from jet lag


One of the downsides of long-haul travel is jet lag. Whilst there is some controversy about whether jet lag is just a state of mind or a real physiological phenomenon, it can cause disruption to many travelers.

It is thought to arise as a result of crossing too many time zones, and turning the body’s circadian rhythms (its own internal clock) upside down.

Jet lag can present as tiredness, confusion, erratic moods, altered appetite and digestive issues. Symptoms vary from person to person and are affected by the number of time zones crossed and the direction flown (west to east is considered to be worst as time is lost). They can last for up to 5-7 days.

5 tips for managing jet lag:

1-Keep active - Avoid the ‘travelators’ at the airport and instead power-walk your way around. On the plane, get up and stretch as often as you can. Keeping your body active will tire yourself out enough to rest when you need to.

2-Keep quiet – wear noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs to tune out the machinery noises and allow a restful time aboard the flight. Even if you don’t sleep easily on the plane, your body will be in a less stressed state.  Try meditating, or listening to guided relaxations. Most airlines now provide calm playlists on their in-flight entertainment.

3-Set your clock – change your clock to the local time of your destination. This will make it easier to adapt once you reach, and will encourage you to sleep during the ‘night’ aboard the flight.

4-Take remedies – use homeopathic remedies and aromatherapy during and after the flight. Avoid melatonin (it’s not available in the UK but can be purchased overseas), which is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone, and sleeping tablets. Caffiene, alcohol and sugar should also be avoided as they give such artificial highs and lows to energy levels. Treatments such as osteopathy, acupuncture and massage can also help to rebalance your system.

5-Back to nature. When you land, spend some time walking on grass or sand with bare feet. Time in nature has a grounding effect on the body and mind which can literally and physically bring you back down to earth.

What are your tried and tested ways to avoid jet lag?