Photo credit: Exact Target
Photo credit: Exact Target

Jet lag affects us all in many different ways. And there are different aspects to jet lag, from the physical effects of feeling like your body has succumbed to the beckoning of the Grim Reaper, to being wide awake when a blanket of darkness covers the sky and the infomercials have taken a stronghold over the airways. Sound familiar?

Sadly, there isn’t much of a remedy for the latter (except a script of sleeping tablets from your doctor) as your body clock plays by its own rules.

But there are ways to minimise the physical affects if you can be disciplined.

Here’s my top three ways to beat jet lag and not let jet lag beat you.

1/ STAY HYDRATED.

Photo credit: Indie Photo Book Library
Photo credit: Indie Photo Book Library

Here’s the scenario: Your bags are packed and holiday-mode gear has been engaged. Bring me the Champagne! Right?

Easy tiger…let’s talk about that.

Let’s be real…a drink or two isn’t going to send you to Jet Lag Death Row. And if you’re lucky enough to have lounge access prior to your flight, you would be silly NOT to lap up the luxury, but give yourself a reasonable limit and stick to it.

It’s a false sense of security to think those extra glasses of red wine are going to ‘help’ you sleep. Yes, they may put you to sleep, but just what quality of sleep will you get?

You can improve your quality of sleep by making sure you are adequately hydrated with water. (Just a heads up: take a large empty bottle onboard so you can ask the cabin crew to fill for you, you don’t want to have to keep pressing the call bell [READ: don’t keep pressing the call bell]).

2/ SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE TIRED ON THE FLIGHT.

Photo credit: Huffington post
Photo credit: Huffington post

This one is easily debatable but listen up.

Have you been so overtired, that when your head finally hits the pillow you can’t sleep? Your body is in overdrive?

It’s a thing. It happens.

“I’m just going to force myself to stay up to get on the right timezone.” Famous. Last. Words. It doesn’t always work like that. Bed time for the new time zone may be two hours prior to landing, what’s your plan then?

If you’re tired: sleep. It’s what you do when you get off the flight that counts.

3/ IF YOU LAND IN THE MORNING, NAPPING IS ALLOWED (IF YOU NEED TO).

There are two types of people when you talk about post-flight jet lag reducing methods.

The first type are those that can charge on through the day until a reasonable hour (meaning: still be awake after 5pm) before hitting the pillow, thus setting themselves up for a solid, rejuvenating sleep.

The second type, cannot do this. The second type need to close their eyes or there may be tears. The second type know by 5pm their eyelids are going to be scrapping along the pavement. If you fall into this category then allow yourself a nap when you first arrive.

But… SET THE ALARM!

Allow yourself two or three hours. Don’t fight that alarm sounds. Don’t be tempted to roll over and ignore the reality facing you. Just don’t.

Get up, get moving, get fresh air, have a coffee…

Photo credit: University of California - Santa Barbara
Photo credit: University of California – Santa Barbara

Q: What’s your trick for beating jet lag?