The drudgery of a long-haul flight is sadly a necessary evil if you want that dreamy, faraway holiday.
And hopping across time zones can also leave you feeling seriously sub-par when the dreaded jet lag hits.
Resetting your body clock to tick along with the time of new destination can be tough, and no-one wants to lose any precious holiday time feeling groggy.
But there are ways that you can make the process more bearable.
Dr Guy Meadows from Bensons for Beds has these handy tips for travellers:
Start to reset your body clock
Jet lag occurs when you travel quickly across more than two times zones leading to confusion between your internal body clock and the local time – and it’s worse when you travel eastwards because we lose time.
Prepare your body clock by going to bed and getting up an hour earlier each day for a few days before.
If your normal sleeping pattern is 11pm to 7am, and for three days you advance it by one hour, on your last night before travel you will go to bed at 8pm and get up at 4am the next morning.
Doing so reduces the difference between the local time and your internal body clock.
Prepare for your flight
Getting everything organised the day before your departure can help to calm a racing mind and promote a better night’s sleep.
Exercising before going on a long flight can also promote sleep and relieve travel anxiety.
Set your watch
When you get on the plane set your watch to the local time to start preparing your brain for the time change.
To sleep or not to sleep
If you’re arriving at your destination in the afternoon or evening, make sure you stay awake on the plane so that you are ready for the local bedtime.
If you are arriving in the morning, aim to sleep on the plane to be ready for the day ahead.
Sleeping on the plane
If you find sleeping on planes a challenge then come prepared with your own ear plugs, eye mask, neck rest, comfortable clothes and blanket. The more comfortable you can be the greater chance of you actually sleeping.
Scanning your body from head to toe can be a great way to manage travel anxiety.
Make time to describe every detail of your body in a objective manner, like ‘I can feel my toes touching the floor, the beat of my heart, the seat on my back, the movement of my breath’ and so on.
Tune in to the local time
Adjust your body clock to the local time zone by immediately getting out into the sunlight, eating, working, socialising and sleeping all on the local time.
Make the most of resting
If sleep does not come straight away, then seek solace in the rest that you get from simply lying in bed calm and relaxed.
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