If you’re one of the few people who don’t get jet lagged after a long-haul flight, you’re in the minority.
Even the most experienced travellers fall prey to the disorientating clutches of jet lag. Read on to discover how you can make like Cher and literally turn back time.
What Is Jet lag?
Not a disease or condition per se, jet lag is actually a mismatch between our internal and external clocks. Our internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, is a biological cycle that takes place over a time span of approximately 24 hours. Once we travel across time zones, this rhythm goes out of whack – and we spend the next weeks (possibly months) settling back into our bodies’ natural biorhythms.
Why Does Jet lag Happen?
The more time zones you cross, the more likely you are to experience jet lag. Contrary to popular perception, the duration of the flight time has nothing to do with jet lag!
Read on to discover what you can do to #beatthelag.
Tip #1 - Work out the time zone of your destination
The fantastic Time Scroller app is a handy tool to have in your pocket to compare different time zones around the world. Aim to get in the rhythm of the new time zone during your flight by eating and sleeping at the appropriate times on the ‘other side’.
Tip # 2 – Be Mindful of how many time zones you will cross
It takes one full day to adjust to every hour of time zone shift. For example, if you are travelling from Sydney to London, you will traverse 10 time meridians, which is equivalent of approximately 10 days of jetlag. Ouch! Don’t beat yourself up if it takes a fortnight or longer to fully recover from jetlag. Use tip #1 to get into the timezone of where you currently are.
Tip # 3 – Set Your Watch
It sounds simple enough, but setting your watch to the local time of your destination is a practical step in helping you achieve Tip #1. A quick glance at your watch is far less disturbing to your sleep than groggily rustling through your pocket, or the seat pocket in front, to check the time on your phone.
Tip # 4 – Exercise In Your Destination Timezone
Working out in the mornings of your destination timezone means that you’ll get the blood flowing and stay awake, especially when your body tells you SLEEP DAMMIT SLEEP! The plus side? You’ll get an energy burst that tails off into a nice feeling of fatigue by the evening, further settling you into your new time zone.