Tips on defeating jetlag for frequent travellers
Jetlag hits everyone with a body clock. This internal clock takes a while to catch up when we travel to a different timezone. While flying on a private jet can enhance sleep quality onboard a ight with its peaceful and spacious cabins to help adjust bodies quicker to new timezones, this “time mismatch” can still affect the overall experience of any trip. Disturbed nighttime sleep, daytime sleepiness, concentration problems and fatigue are just some of the symptoms of how jetlag can affect us in day- to-day tasks.
How does jetlag affect frequent fliers?
Long-term jetlag or time mismatch can seriously affect the body as it is the same as being chronically sleep-deprived.The effects are associated with the same health risks as long-term sleep deprivation and includes an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, obesity and diabetes.The risk of falling sick increases too, as it hinders the body in properly recharging and makes it more susceptible to communicable diseases.
Also, if on an ultra-long flight, skip the short-acting sleeping pill. Sleeping pills do not provide natural sleep and can do more damage to your health and increase your risk of life-threatening diseases. Most prescription sleeping pills are also classified as physically addictive, such that when consumption of the pills stops altogether, pill-takers will suffer from ‘rebound insomnia’, which will cause even more problematic sleep later on.
Instead, keep yourself hydrated – but not with alcohol or caffeine. Even a mildly dehydrated body can disrupt quality sleep that matters. Dehydration causes nasal passages and the mouth to become dry, which in turn, sets you up for another sleep problem not just for yourself but your partner as well – disruptive snoring!
Good hydration is essential and one should focus on regular hydration throughout the day. Just keep in mind your water intake towards the end of the day. Drink less nearer bedtime to avoid frequent bathroom trips through the night that might disrupt sleep.
While onboard, make sure to take your time to walk around as well. Move your ankles and stretch in the aisles too to ensure better blood circulation. Once you are aware of your body and how it feels when you sit still, lose sleep or get dehydrated, you will be better prepared to anticipate these needs before any flight.
What else can be done to help combat jetlag?
Before departure: The first step is to change your sleep routine pre-flight. If you’re travelling west, start going to bed at a later time for a few days.The opposite is true for those heading east – start sleeping earlier before your trip. It also helps to change your watch to the timezone of your destination to help adjust your mind with the new schedule.
Onboard and in flight: Stay hydrated, skip the coffee and get comfortable. Noise-cancelling earplugs, blankets and eye masks create the right conditions for conducive sleep; a quiet, cool, and dark environment will quickly put you to sleep.
Upon arrival: Spend the first day outdoors. Light is our main circadian rhythm regulator and staying indoors worsens jetlag. Try to get enough sunlight whenever possible, as exposure to daylight helps the body to adjust to the new timezone quicker. Also, natural light at different times in the day can help, depending on which direction you have travelled. For westward travels, soak up that morning sun once you arrive and avoid the afternoon sun to help shift your body clock backwards.Again, apply these rules in the opposite for eastward-bound trips.