Taking yet another business trip? Other than the dreaded act of packing your suitcase, jet lag is probably one of your top worries. Here are our top tips to avoid it…
When you’re on a trip, getting off a plane having had hardly any sleep just to go through a day full of meetings quickly becomes an ordeal that feels as if you’re preparing for a marathon.
So what is it?
Jet lag is an inescapable aspect of modern travelling. Before it was possible to travel across different time zones, the body had ample time to re-adjust itself, as travelling at a slow pace allowed this. Our body has something called the circadian rhythm-an internal clock of sorts that tells you when to go to sleep and when to be awake. But in today’s fast paced world, this clock is not given enough time to reset itself, causing havoc within you. Check out this amazing infographic explaining jet lag by Matt Kursmark.
Don’t just shrug it off; jet lag can be quite serious. Some of the impacts of jet lag are- slower reflexes (both mentally and physically), inability to sleep, tiredness and headaches. If possible, you should avoid any high-pressure business negotiations until they have acclimatized to the new time zone. You can try and schedule important meetings at a time that is acceptable according to your home time zone and within the business day in the destination time zone.
There are a plethora of cures you can try, but most of them are impractical to be tried over a short and hasty business trip – ranging from acupuncture, glowing glasses, melatonin pills and what not. But here are some simple things you can do that don’t involve changing everyone else’s schedule or experimenting with sleeping pills:
- 1. Drink plenty of water
2. Avoid alcohol on or before your flight
3. Take a short walk during your flight to improve circulation
4. If you’re travelling west over four or more time zones (to New York, for example) make sure you get bright natural light in the early evening. This will help you to adapt to the new time.
5. If you’re going east back to the UK, try to return at around midday to get the brightest light of the day. Wear eyeshades on the plane and try to stay in the dark and quiet.
6. For the more tech savvy among you, Jetlag fighter is an iPhone app that offers two main strategies to attack jet lag: either sleep adjustment (getting you on schedule for the new time zone before you leave) or light therapy (telling you optimal times get out in the sunshine to lessen the lag time).
Feeling better equipped to face your next bout of jet lag? We hope so. Do you have any tips or tricks that you use? Let us know.