Top tips for beating
jetlag when travelling
Everyone thinks travelling for business is glamorous: time out of the office, a free trip to somewhere overseas, a few days working in a new place and lots of important meetings. But what about the effects of jetlag, which aren’t glamorous in the slightest…
Have you noticed that every time you travel to a new continent - whether ahead of time or behind - your body doesn’t want to cooperate? The timezone difference messes up your circadian rhythm(your body’s biological clock), which is responsible for controlling and regulating your internal functions based on when you sleep and wake up.
We know that travelling long haul across multiple timezones can disrupt normal sleeping patterns. You find yourself either wide awake in the middle of the night, or fast asleep during the day. How are you supposed to represent your company successfully at meetings and events when you’re suffering from dreaded jetlag? In fact, a report found that jetlag costs UK businesses over £240million a year due to productivity loss and mistakes made by sleepy staff.
However, there are ways to beat jetlag - or at least minimise the affect of it on the body, including insomnia and fatigue. An unnamed source at Flight Centre Business Travel HQ suggested one tip to combat jetlag is to drink red wine and eat pasta as soon as you land. While we’re not entirely convinced by this idea, we do have a few tips to help you adjust to your new timezone as quickly as possible:
Change your watch
As soon as you board your flight, change your watch to the local time of your destination, and start eating and sleeping as if you were already there. This will give your body a head start in the adjustment process and make life easier once you arrive.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Contrary to that unnamed source, try to keep your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks at the most. Both alcohol and coffee dehydrate the body, plus caffeine can greatly interrupt your circadian rhythm, which in turn can end up magnifying the effects of jetlag. Instead stay hydrated by drinking as much water as possible - your body will thank you when you get to your overseas destination, trust us.
Stretching and exercises
It’s important to get up and walk around regularly during your flight, as you wouldn’t normally sit at your office desk for such a long time without having a stretch. Doing simple little exercises either in your seat or around the plane, if you’re feeling up to it, will help increase your circulation and generally help you to recover from a long haul flight.
Only sleep at night
If you arrive at your destination in the daytime, resist all temptation to go to sleep. Light is one of the best cues you can give your biological clock - so if you’re feeling unbearably tired, try and wake up by going for a walk or jog outdoors rather than having a nap. However, if you do feel like sleep is the only option, try to limit your nap to just 20–30 minutes. This way you will adapt to your new timezone a lot quicker.
We hope these tips come in handy on your next international flight. Don’t forget, you can ask your Travel Expert any further questions you might have about flying long haul (and for their suggestions on how to beat jetlag). Contact us today online or call 0208 131 4219.