Jet lag occurs when you’re travelling across different time zones. It can happen once you’ve reached your destination or once you’ve returned home. When your internal clock is trying to work out what time zone you’re in and whether you should be in bed or out enjoying your day, it can get a little confusing and therefore jet lag kicks in. Symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, headaches and nausea as well as loss of appetite and even extreme mood swings.
If you’re a business traveler especially, it is of upmost importance to be feeling your best whilst you’re travelling – and our tips can hopefully help you with avoiding jet lag:
If possible, try and book or get your company to book flights that are as direct as possible. That way you can avoid spending hours or days in a completely different time zone before your body then has to adjust to a whole different time zone once you reach your destination.
If layovers aren’t avoidable, maybe spend an extra couple of days in that midway location to enjoy the scenery and escape the travel for a little while.
Alongside trying to avoid layovers, make sure you think about the flight times you’ve booked. It may not be up to you if the company has already booked your flights for you, but if not, try and time it so that you’re not arriving at your destination in the middle of the night. Ideally you’d arrive between 8 am and midday then try and stay awake into the evening so you go to bed tired and are able to sleep.
If you’ve got a business meeting or conference once you’ve landed then attempt to arrive the night before, get in a full night’s sleep and wake up feeling like it’s the start of a new day.
It goes without saying but hydration is key when it comes to the body functioning as normal. Try setting an alarm on your phone that reminds you to hydrate. Take a refillable bottle with you and ask the flight attendants to fill it up on the flight. Especially when flying, the body needs to stay hydrated so you can have a much better night’s sleep once you’ve landed. In fact, the low humidity and low air pressure in the cabin as you fly contributes to dehydration, the World Health Organization (WHO), you should drink around 250 ml of water each hour of flight time. Whilst it can be tempting, try to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate you even more and disrupt your sleep cycle.
As well as staying hydrated, making healthier choices when it comes to food can really benefit you. Understandably it’s sometimes harder to stay healthy if you’re hotel is stocked with goodies or the flight has salty snacks for you to enjoy, but remembering your 5 a day even when travelling can give you that little boost needed to stop jet lag from taking over.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that gets to travel in style when you’re on a business trip. If so, make the most of it! That extra leg room, comfortable seat and delicious meal might help you to relax even more onboard you’re flight.
Dependent on your destination, the flight might have flat beds on board if you’re in first or if you’re in business then at least a good amount of extra leg room to stretch out.
On top of the extra leg room and comfortable seat onboard, the first class lounges at the airport should have enough healthy snacks and drinks to keep you happy until it’s time to fly. Try stocking up on your water and sticking to lighter beverages so you’re not feeling sluggish when you land in your destination.
The latest trend in business travel, Bleisure is the idea of combining business and leisure when travelling. You could add a few days to the end of your business trip to explore the area, or you could ask a friend or family member to accompany you when you go.
This new trend lets you enjoy the destination you’ve been working in and makes sure that even if you’re travelling for business, you get to see more of the area than just the inside of your office.
It’ll make you feel more relaxed and give you time to adjust and unwind rather than feeling rushed to travel straight back home.
This is a great way to give yourself that little but of extra time to help with avoiding jet lag. If you leave feeling relaxed, recuperated and ready for the week ahead then you’re more likely to be able to bounce back into your routine with ease once you land.
Whilst business trips are often quite exciting, sometimes they bring added stress as you’ll be attempting to be on top form for your trip as well as taking care of the BAU tasks and emails that mount up whilst you’re away. Try to put aside answering emails, when you get back to the hotel after your business day focus on relaxing and unwinding.
Plan your day so that you can prioritise your sleep once the working day is over. Put the laptop to one side, and the work phone too. Instead, book yourself a nice meal or take a walk outside and then spend your evening doing something you love. Watch a film, read a book and focus on relaxation – then after that focus on getting your sleep. Ensuring that you maintain a good routine when it comes to relaxing and getting some sleep means you’re able to stay on top form.
We’d love to hear if you’ve got any tips for fellow business travellers on how to avoid jet lag. It might be a family recipe for soup or a way to book flights that means you’ll never have to spend 6 hours waiting in the airport again.