We’ve all been there – you finally touch down at the destination you’ve been dreaming of all year, but then waste the first few days fighting that infamous holiday drag: jet lag.
It’s often thought that jet lag is an inevitable part of long-distance journeys, but it doesn’t have to be that way, if you know how to combat it. To help you out, we’ve put together some tips on warding off that time zone fatigue, so that you can make the most of your holiday.
Change your clocks
Our bodies run on an internal 24 hour clock, which is also known as a circadian rhythm. A sudden disruption to that rhythm will upset the balance of your internal processes, and can sometimes lead to fatigue, insomnia, headaches, irritability, and even digestive problems.
To avoid that sudden shock to the system, it can be helpful to change your clocks a few days before your journey, to help your internal clock ease into the new time zone.
Rather than simply switching to your destination time though, try setting your clock just a few hours closer to where you’re headed to. This more moderate change will allow your body to gradually adjust to its new routine, therefore avoiding an abrupt change of rhythm, along with any unpleasant side effects.
Adjust your workout schedule
During the week building up to your flight, try to make sure you’re exercising at the same time every day. Then, when you arrive in your destination, hit your workout at the same local time you normally would. So for instance, if you’re heading to the big apple, and were working out at 8am in the UK, you’ll want to do the same at 8am (US time) in New York.
Why? Well, a study in the journal of physiology found that exercise can actually shift your internal clock – so if you stick to a strict workout time, your body will naturally adjust itself to a new routine.
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Don’t eat before you fly
Airports are full of tempting places to eat – from duty-free goodies, to bar snacks and full-blown restaurants – it’s very easy to find yourself passing the time away with something tasty. However, if you can resist the temptation to eat on the day you fly, you’ll find the transition to your new surroundings much easier.
This is because fasting can delay our internal clocks – scientists have found that the time we eat can affect our circadian rhythm, just as much as our sleep cycle can.
To take advantage of this, you’ll want to completely avoid eating on the day of your flight, which will effectively put your body clock on hold. Then, once you’ve touched down in your new time zone, grab a bite to eat at the next local mealtime, such as breakfast or lunch.
Water, water and more water
Aside from the disruption to your sleeping and eating patterns, one of the biggest causes of post-flight fatigue is actually dehydration.
The air you breathe inside the cosy confines of a plane cabin comes from the high altitude air outside, which has very little moisture. In fact, the humidity can often be lower than 20%, which is drier than the sahara desert!
This can lead to you losing up to two litres of water in a long-haul flight, so it’s no wonder you feel hungover! Rather than opting for a glass of wine or coffee, drink plenty of water instead, and you’ll hit the ground running!
So there you have it, four tips that are sure to help you conquer jet lag this summer. Of course, starting your first day right with a Cornerstone shave, along with a rinse out using our super fresh mouthwash, won’t do you any harm either!