With the return of Transatlantic travel comes the return of jet lag. Ros Milani Gallieni, Founder of Jet Candy, a homeopathic jet lag remedy, shares her top 10 tips for staying as fresh as possible as when travelling between the UK and the States.
Guest post by Ros Milani Gallieni, Founder of Jet Candy
So, where are we with jet lag after all the sofa surfing and travel dreaming? Unfortunately, whilst we have spent, give or take, the past 18 months grounded, the threat of jet lag remains very much a reality for most of us, regardless of which direction you turn when you (finally) get to board the plane. And especially now, as we want to be well, strong, and in optimum condition.
But what exactly is jet lag, and why do we suffer from it? Jet lag is essentially your internal body clock (your circadian rhythms) telling you what it thinks the time should be — irrespective of what the external time actually is. For instance, if you fly to the other side of the world, your body clock might be telling you to be tired because it thinks you should be preparing for bed, or settling down to watch the news after dinner — even if it’s actually morning where you are and the first day’s meeting is on the horizon.
But there is some good news for weary travellers looking to keep the fatigue at bay. I have put together my ten top tips to help you beat this drag of jet lag blues the next time you take to the skies, as crossing 7 to 12 time zones usually results in more severe jet lag than crossing 3 to 6.
1. Get some sleep
It may sound like an obvious thing to say, but many flyers don’t actually bother to get a good night’s sleep before they fly! Don’t leave the packing ’til the last minute (hello, midnight packers, we’re looking at you), ensure you have an early night and try not to eat too much. The more energy you build in your reserves, the easier it will be to beat jet lag when you arrive at your destination. The Mindfulness App is a great one to drift off to. Select the 15 min session and you won’t get to the end of it!
2. Set the time
When you first board the plane, set your watch to the time of your destination and try, as far as possible, to adopt a routine that mimics that time. Is it night-time where you’re headed to? Try to catch some zzzs on the plane. Stick to the time when you arrive at your destination, too — so if it’s still daytime, get out, stand and absorb some sunshine and walk to explore your surroundings, and eat at the correct stages of the day in your new local time.
3. Work it out, in-flight
Exercise is vital to help you to minimise jet lag. We’re not talking a full-blown work-out of course, but regularly walking up and down the plane aisle, and doing some gentle leg lifts in your seat, will all help to keep the blood circulating and stop you from feeling sluggish (as well as reducing the risk of DVT). Stretch your arms up in the air take a gentle banana bend — side to side and left to right. A down-dog would also be great if space allows between trolleys and crew, and when you sit back down maybe tune into www.sonictonic.io. This self-help tool can help your mental state and any anxiety about travel, as it uses specially produced soundscapes created for emotional balance. I use it to improve sleep, reduce stress — which I do at my desk during the day for five minutes — boost concentration and increase learning skills. There really is a tonic for everything.
4. Give the mini-bar a miss
At the risk of sounding dull, try not to drink alcohol during the flight. Water only. Not only is alcohol dehydrating, it’s also reputed to be three times more potent at 35,000 feet. Inebriation is not a good idea at the best of times when travelling — particularly if you’re flying into a country where alcohol is frowned upon — and if you suffer from motion sickness, it makes the sensation feel far worse. It’s also not great at helping you to avoid jet lag, as it is a stimulant as well.
5. Quit the caffeine
As with alcohol, the same goes for all the coffees you’re drinking. As caffeine is again, a stimulant, it works by speeding up the messages that the nervous system sends to the brain, resulting in you feeling more awake. However, it can also end up over-stimulating the brain, and can make it harder to relax and fall asleep. Not ideal when jet lag is preventing you from switching off as well!
6. Do drink up
One of the best things to do when flying is to drink plenty of water — not least because it will mean you’re getting up more often to use the WC, which in turn gives you a chance to stretch your legs and walk around the cabin (and down-dog). The plane air and the cabin pressure all act to dehydrate you — however, the more hydrated you are, the lesser the associated ailments of jet lag will be. Stay on top of the H20 and look after yourself to travel better.
7. Best foot forward — move every 90mins
Sitting still for long periods of time — such as on a plane — is a sure-fire way to prevent the flow of blood circulating around the body. Most modern travellers are well aware of the problems posed by DVT, but did you know that poor blood circulation can also impact your sleep? Invest in a pair of compression socks (you can always buy these at the airport, but check out www.volprive.com before you go, for their travel accessories. Socks, meditation masks, shawls and mini cushions). These socks can look chic down the aisle, and importantly they help promote the blood flow around the body, while keeping your calves snug en route. All your other clothing must be easy-fitting, light weight and super comfortable. My favourites to travel in, are a sweatshirt with a hood to pop a small pillow into and the all-essential Taper trousers from www.sweatybetty.com.
8. No time for naps
Once you’ve arrived in your destination, get out and about as much as you can. Exposure to sunlight allows your body to differentiate between day and night more effectively, meaning it will be easier for you to fall asleep at night. Try to avoid taking naps during the day, as this will make it harder for your body to adjust to the new routine. Maybe there is a local food market to meander in, or an exhibition to drift into…
9. Download App in the Air
Stress is one of the biggest reasons that people are kept up at night, and the same goes for when you head on holiday. Downloading App in the Air enables you to book, track and manage your flights (and more) in one easy-to-use place. That in turn means that any travel stresses will be eliminated, as you can keep track of everything on the go. Find out more at www.appintheair.com.
10. Gardens in the Sky
Finally, I take a botanical, 5-flower travel remedy: Jet Candy Travel Essence. This all-new Travel Essence is a remedy made of floral ingredients, blended into a tonic, which you can take in a glass of water. It is really important to take one dose (two drops) the night before departure (it helps enormously if you stress and wonder if your early alarm will go off), a dose the following morning, on take-off, two to four doses during the flight (with all that water you have), one dose on arrival, and one or two the following morning with your breakfast. The remedy is a 5-flower essence food supplement product, and addresses the ailments of jet lag: weariness, anxiety, agitation, bad digestion, drowsiness, lethargy, sleep disruption and more. Everyone’s jet lag is different, but this remedy finds the sweet spots. It has helped friends, families and customers all around the globe. The all-natural ingredients, stimulate the body to make itself better and help accommodate the changes to the body clock, so you can say goodbye to jet lag. Jet Candy Travel Essence is available now from www.jet-candy.com.