If you’re planning a trip somewhere far away, you’ve no doubt started to think about the dreaded annoyance that is jet lag, especially if the time zones from your starting destination and final destination are significantly different. Jet lag can soon turn your exciting trip into a tiring, frustrating snooze-fest, rendering your trip ruined.
Don’t let your top dream trip to London turn into a nightmare. We’re here to help with our guide for avoiding jet lag.
What causes jet lag?
To help you avoid or overcome it, it’s a good idea to start by understanding exactly what it is, and why you get it. Our bodies are naturally programmed to do many things during a 24-hour period, including eating and sleeping. These natural routines are known as circadian rhythms, and when we fly they’re thrown into confusion.
Moving through different time zones can wreak mayhem with our bodies, leading to extreme exhaustion along with indigestion, bowel problems, loss of appetite, memory and concentration issues, to name a few.
How long does it take to recover from jet lag?
Unfortunately, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution or remedy when it comes to coping with the condition, and it will vary depending on the person, and where you going and where you’re coming from. However, studies have found that it takes a full day to recover from each time zone you travel through. Ouch.
How to avoid jet lag
We all know jet lag is rubbish, so here are our top tips for preventing it:
Schedule your flight well
If you have a busy schedule when you arrive in London, from sight-seeing to gallery hopping, Indian Afternoon Tea London to shopping ‘til you drop, you should consider timing your flight as effectively as possible, to reduce the need to rest when you arrive. This will be particularly helpful if you’ve only got a couple of days in the capital.
If possible, opt for a flight which arrives in daylight. This will make it easier to stay awake – you’ll be more inclined to get out and explore if the sun’s out and you’ve got a full day ahead of you.
Make yourself comfortable on the flight
The more comfortable you are on the plane, the easier it will be to sleep or to at least have a rest. Wear comfortable, loose clothing with layers so you can adjust as needed depending on the conditions of the plane. Bring earplugs and an eye mask too, to limit disturbances from those around you.
Sit back, relax and start planning your trip! For a better idea of what to expect of your accommodation, have a look through our Photo Gallery Park Grand London Lancaster Gate. Then, start mapping out your points of interest! With The Shard and other iconic buildings to distract you, your head will (literally) be in the clouds.
Watch your caffeine intake
The natural reflex for when you’re tired is to dose up on caffeine. But surprise surprise, this is not a good idea when flying long haul. Caffeine and alcohol disturb sleep patterns and cause dehydration.
Both on the flight and for as much of the day before and after your flight, avoiding caffeine and alcohol will help you stay hydrated and will allow for a more restful sleep when you eventually do drop off.
Avoid unnatural sleep aides
It can be really tempting to pop a few sleeping pills and enjoy a long journey of shut-eye. However, this won’t be a natural sleep, so you run the risk of waking up feeling even worse when you land. Try other ways to help you fall into a restful slumber, such as the use of a few drops of lavender essential oil on your travel pillow, or by drinking a nice camomile tea.
Exercise is a great way to combat the symptoms of jet lag, both on the plane and after you land. Walk around regularly and do simple exercises in your seat to keep the blood flowing. And if you’ve ever wondered how to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis, you should know that good circulation is vital. Investing in a pair of flight socks will reduce the risk of DVT and increase circulation (a slowing of which is one of the most common effects of jet lag).
When you land, it’s a good idea to have a gentle walk around too, to acclimatise your legs to the ground again, and to reduce swelling. The sunshine and exercise will give you an energy boost, too. There are a lot of green spaces and Hotels Near Lancaster Gate London which is a beautiful spot for city exploration.
Eat and drink well
Drink eight ounces of water for each hour you’re flying. The low humidity inside an airplane dries you out. Bring along plenty of water so you can stay hydrated and stave off sickness, or a water bottle that the flight attendants should be happy to refill for you.
As mentioned, giving up caffeine and alcohol for a day or two can be really great for combatting jet lag, but there are also things you can eat which can have an impact, too.
Foods rich in tryptophan, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, melatonin and vitamin B6 can all help promote quality sleep. Melatonin, in particular, has been proven to be especially effective. It is a hormone released by your pineal gland that signals it’s time to fall asleep. Melatonin is naturally formed in your body and is found in foods such as cherries, bananas, walnuts, oats and tomatoes.
Therefore, these are the perfect plane snacks and make for a much healthier alternative to the options you’re likely to find on your average flight.
Catch up on sleep
Power naps are ideal for daytime flights because they’ll be long enough to refresh you but short enough to keep you from falling into a deep sleep, and therefore waking up even groggier than before.
Of course, when you finally do land and check into a dreamy hotel such as the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate, it can be a good idea to have a quick snooze to account for any sleep shortfall.
With all of this in mind, you should be well-rested and ready to take on London. What are your top tips for avoiding jet lag? Leave us a comment!