you are travelling for business or pleasure the further your trip the
more chance you stand of being caught out by jet lag. Some are lucky and
never seem to be affected, however for others jet lag can be quite
severe and something that we really would prefer to avoid.
people say that it actually takes the body one day per time zone that we
cross to fully recover ! That is great as I calculate that I am now on a
12 hour flight that crosses 6 time zones all for a 6 day trip ! So my
body will have just recovered by the time I am boarding my return
is why it is so important to actually minimise the affects jet lag has
on us, after all if you are travelling on business you need to arrive
fresh and ready for the heavy schedule, if you are on vacation, well you
deserve every minute you can get right ?! Here we will look at a few
ideas, that should help to ease the strain.
increased air traffic a lot of airlines especially on their long haul
services have actually introduced twice daily flights, one which
normally departs in the evening and another the daytime. The airlines
will sell you the advantages of both and it is true that they both do
have very strong support. However, it very much depends which direction
you are travelling in, and whether you are an active flyer or a 'wake me
up when we land' sort. Let's use the Hong Kong to London route as an
example, which a lot of airlines offer two flights a day. If you leave
in the evening you will arrive in London in the early morning however if
you take the daytime service you will arrive late evening in London.
means with the daytime service you have 13 hours or so to fill, sleeping
is not really advisable as you will need to do that when you arrive in
London in the evening. As we all know airline movies can be good but the
chances are if you travel frequently, or watch movies a lot then you may
have already seen most of them. You can work of course but does the
airline you are flying with have laptop electric supplies, otherwise you
may be restricted to a couple of hours or so ? This is where the initial
problem lies, because if you do fall asleep then chances are you will
find it difficult to get to sleep that evening in London, this would
then worsen the jet lag effect and possibly ruin the next day for you,
due to fatigue.
The opposite is of course true for the evening service, you can sleep as
you are aided by the fact that your body clock is saying that you
should. Then when you awake you will hopefully be refreshed and ready to
work after a nice hot shower.
Today, airlines are going out of their way to ensure that you have a
comfortable flight, and that you arrive as fresh as possible, at the
other end. The leading airlines offer a total bed experience, which is
where the seat will go all the way back flat, duvets, and pillows are
offered, plus pygamas etc. This is now par for the course in First Class
with Singapore Airlines and British Airways being among the first to
offer it. Virgin is also in the process of installing seat/beds, and
being Virgin they are taking it one step further and will have
double/seat beds for those that would like a bit of a cuddle ! The
airlines also offer arrival lounges compared to the standard departure
lounge, which are for first and business class passengers. These arrival
lounges have full shower facilities, so that you can arrive and freshen
up without even having left the airport ! All these services are a great
help but what is there that you can do to help yourself ?
avoid alcohol in flight, with the pressurized air in the cabin your body
dehydrates substantially, and alcohol affects the body clock by not
giving you a full and refreshing sleep. In fact, try to drink as much
water as possible. Just ask the steward (ess) for a large bottle and
keep it by your seat so you can take sips whenever you want.
a lot of water will also help in other ways. It is highly recommended to
move around when in-flight, walk up and down the plane, do dome
stretching exercises, to keep the blood circulating, and stop the joints
Whilst seated, swirl your ankles around from time to time.
depending on which direction you are travelling whether east or west,
and how much sleep you require, you should set your watch to the local
time of your destination as you board, and sleep according to that. This
helps your body to start the change in its body clock, which is so
important when combating jet lag. Let's say for example that you are
flying from Bangkok to Paris, then when you board the plane you should
set your clock to Paris time and try not to sleep until it is close to
sleeping time in Paris.
you do arrive at your destination, and it is day time, try not to go to
sleep, no matter how tired you are. Instead try to go outdoors and into
the sunshine if possible, this helps to alter your body clock, and will
mean you will be back to normal a lot quicker. One of the first hotels
to offer a jet lag service was the Okura Hotel in Tokyo. They would
offer the guests, a special bright light in their rooms, special food
designed to help the body clock, massages and a whole load of other
things, all so that you could be refreshed and ready to go as soon as
you can't resist and your eyelids, are drooping and you feel more and
more tired, then set you alarm for four hours time, have a very hot
bath, and then jump into bed.
dreams and happy travelling! See
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