The sun is shining, you've reached your holiday destination and you're looking forward to a week or more of complete relaxation. The last thing you want at this point is a dose of jet lag to come and spoil the start of your get-away.
Travelling across time zones can really disrupt your body clock- affecting your sleep, digestion and mood both when you arrive at your resort and when you come home. But there are some simple precuations you can make to stop the jet lag spoiling your hols.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight's resident sleep expert shares her top tips stopping your symptoms getting in the way.
Stock up on sleep before
Preparation can make all the difference, so start preparing the week before you travel by getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly-preferably outdoors, eating healthily, and keeping well hydrated.
Do some airport activities
At the airport move around as much as possible. Having so many hours to kill in an airport ahead of a flight can make us all tempted to sit around and do very little but this is the worst thing you can do. Stay active at the airport and you won’t feel as sluggish when you board your flight.
Save yourself with snacks
On the day you are travelling, and when you arrive at your destination, eat a healthy meal with fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid caffeine and refined sugars and the heavily salted plane food if you can. Take snacks on board with you such as oat cakes, nuts and dried fruit, crudite?s and fresh fruit.
Hurray for herbal tea
Drink wisely during your flight to stay hydrated and avoid stimulants like coffee. Take a large bottle of water on the plane with you and always have water at the ready and bring along some herbal tea bags so you can still have a hot drink without stocking up on caffeine that'll make you feel worse later.
Take a deep breath
Close your eyes and meditate on take off and landing for 20 minutes each time. Breathe deeply and imagine putting down roots on your exhalation. Imagine those roots going all the way down to the core of the earth, anchoring you to the earth’s core.
Take a plane walk
Get up out of your seat and move around regularly on the flight. This will help improve you blood flow and stop you from feeling too lethargic
Rest but don't sleep
Put the emphasis on resting rather than sleeping. Use products that use lavender oils or euca- lyptus on the plane such as tissues or scented flight cushions. Use eye masks and ear plugs and put a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign on your table if you don’t want to be woken for meals or duty free shopping trollies. Try to read or listen to music to keep yourself awake but relaxed.
Keep it natural
Avoid taking any medication to help you sleep once you're away. Your body needs to naturally adjust to the time zone and you can disrupt this by using medication. If you can’t sleep, just lie down and think about having a rest - it’s likely you will drift off to sleep anyway.
Hold off on the nap
When you get to your destination try to hold off on napping until it is time to sleep. If you feel sleepy go for a walk on the beach. To beat jet lag, you want to try and synchronise yourself to the time zone of your destination.
- There's more travel ideas in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.