While choosing a holiday destination that’s far away from home is intriguing, an exotic escapade always has one downside: jetlag. No matter how often you tell yourself that sleep is for the weak, there’s no denying that most of us spend the first day of a special getaway wandering around like a zombie, instead of enjoying the experience to the fullest.
Luckily, you’re about to wave goodbye to this sleepy spoilsport. Thomas Cook’s infographic, 15 Ways to Beat Jetlag, may be short, but makes a world of difference. Here are some easy and effective ways to make the most of your exciting holiday from day one.
Before You Go
Jetlag fights dirty, so you have to be a bit sneaky if you want to take it down. Most importantly, it’s important to hit the ground running… before you’ve even started travelling. Try adjusting your sleep routine, which will prepare your internal clock for the imminent time shift. For example, if you’re jetting off to a holiday destination that’s three hours ahead of your normal time zone, start going to bed earlier. If you’re not feeling sleepy, wear sunglasses to trick your circadian rhythm.
During Your Flight
Gaining the upper hand over jetlag requires a sustained commitment. Along with preparing before your flight, keep your holiday haven’s time zone in mind while flying. It’s advisable to eat and sleep in accordance with your destination’s local time, as well as drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Against contrary belief, taking sleep-inducing medicine is counter-productive, as it doesn’t condition your body to crave sleep naturally.
When You Arrive
On to the hardest part of the battle: staying awake when you arrive. This can be particularly challenging if you arrive in the morning and have to force yourself to stay awake. To facilitate this inner struggle, spend as much time as possible outside, as daylight helps you amend your internal rhythm and represses the urge to sleep. If you’re planning on dancing the night away at a club, go easy on your first evening and try to snooze for at least four hours. Trust us: you’ll thank your self-restraint during the rest of your holiday.
As you can tell, banishing jetlag from your holiday requires several days of dedication. But, just as with studying, cleaning your home or exercising, you’ll be very glad that you put in the effort afterwards!