A travel and lifestyle blog

Sunday, 12 March 2017

How to beat jetlag

I love travelling but I hate jetlag. It's so annoying to not be able to sleep at 3 am and then missing out on what you actually want to do later. I thought I'd do a little post on my tips, and if you have any others please share them because I need all the help I can get!

Case in point; I couldn't sleep at all in the night when I was in New York but the one night the rooftop bar was open that I really wanted to visit I slept the whole way through. Then I adjusted to the timezone on my way home and struggled through work for my first week back...why why why.

I do actively try to manage the effects of jet lag so I thought I'd share my tips with you and if you have any please please please let me know. I need all the help I can get at the moment haha.

1) Eating at the local times
I really have no problem with this because I love eating haha. It can be tricky first thing in the morning but like a real trooper I commit and it does help. I'm waiting for my medal to come through anytime now haha. Try your best to eat at mealtimes and make sure to have some small snacks like nuts and crackers in your hotel in case you wake up with intense munchies in the middle of the night. I remember waking up once starving and all I had was dried oats and it was sad.

2) Going to bed at the local time
Get into bed and try to have a nap or sleep at the correct times. I usually don't let myself get out of bed in the morning until it's close to an acceptable time in the local area to try to force my body to adjust. Reading in bed is a good way to pass time when you really can't sleep but avoid phones and TV - the lights will not help sleep come at all and you'll only feel worse the next day.

3) Arrive as late as you can
This really makes a difference. Travelling is really tiring. I'm not exactly sure why sitting and doing nothing is so exhausting...but it is. Accepting this and trying to work around it really helps. If I can, depending on flight costs, I will get a later flight so I land at night. It's so much easier to sleep when you are feeling a bit disorientated and exhausted anyway. I find it helps reset everything and the next day the effects of jetlag are not as extreme.

4) Accept it
Accept what you can't change. Stay in bed for as long as you can, but if it's unbearable just get up. You will adjust, it just takes time. Try to do something fun and make the most of the situation. When I was in New York I walked to Times Square in the morning because of my jetlag and it was amazing - there were only about 8 people there and I managed to see the art installation and Times Square almost to myself.

5) Give yourself time off
The rule of thumb is that jetlag is worse when you travel East but my body is clearly on a different wavelength completely because I always feel a lot worse travelling West. For me, coming back home from the US was okay and I had no problems sleeping at all (just staying awake haha) but arriving there was a different story! Just work out what affects you and give yourself time off accordingly. If you are going to feel exhausted on arrival then have an easier day of sightseeing rather than throwing yourself into it. Equally if you know you will feel terrible when you get back then take off an extra day or a morning to recoup. Work within your limits. If you push yourself too far you'll only be run down when you get home and feel a bit ill anyway.

6) Set your clock to the local time as soon as you get to the airport
My friend gave me this tip and it's hands down the best. It just gets you into the mindset of 'Now I need to sleep. Now I need to eat' etc. I didn't do this for years but now I swear by it - Thanks Nikki!

Let me know your tips.


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