Described as ‘a sleep disorder that can affect those who travel quickly across multiple time zones’, jet lag is everyone’s nightmare. Owner of Travel Expert in Durban, Claude David, who has travelled to more than 50 countries, says it is important for travellers to get their mind in sync with the different time zones.
Here are some tips on how to deal with jet lag:
Before your flight
With all the excitement and nerves of travelling to a new destination, its easy to lose sleep. Always make sure that you have at least 8 hours of rest before your flight. This will help you be alert and assist with the transition of the time zones.
During your flight
Drink lots of water...
Staying hydrated on the plane is essential as the air inside an aircraft can cause one to feel dehydrated. Try to hydrate with a few glasses every hours.
...and cut down on alcohol
A lot of travellers take full advantage of the free wines and beers on board an international flight. Some drink them to fall asleep while others drink to combat their fear of flying. Indulging in alcohol can contribute to dehydration and jet lag. David says if travellers insist on drinking, they should replenish their alcohol consumption with water.
Try to fall asleep the natural way. Sleeping pills or a glass of wine are temporary fixes and can cause serious effects to the body. Try to carry an eye mask to help with sleep and to block out any distractions.
At your destination
Set the time
Try to set the time of your current destination on your mobile devices and watches once your flight lands. The best way to adapt to a new time zone is by starting a routine as soon as you land.
Plan your next move according to the time of day
It’s quite hard getting into a rhythm when you have flown halfway across the world and spent hours inside a plane. Jet lag will come, but you will need to be smart in order to deal with it. If you land in the evening or at night, David says that arriving at night does not mean that one should go straight to bed. He suggests walking around the hotel, taking in the air or enjoying the views of the destination.
If you arrive during the day, try to explore the sights once you check in. David says the sun can do a great deal to help fight jet lag as the vitamin D helps regulate the body.