Whether you’re flying out to London, LA or beyond, or returning home to Singapore, a long-haul flight and the time difference between one country and another can be particularly disorientating. Jetlag is a pain for all of us: it stops us from getting on with our holiday or tourism and leads to strange sleep patterns at the best of times. If you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open – or struggling to get them closed, for that matter – here are our travel blog‘s top three tips to get you back on your feet and on the go in your destination country as soon as possible.
A Good Meal
Food is important. It’s our fuel, our source of energy and nutrients, and our stomach gets used to certain habits over time. We’re accustomed to three square meals a day: breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon and dinner at night, with a few snacks thrown in there for good measure. Traveling throws a spanner in the works, however. You’ll be eating different kinds of foods at different times of day according to your body clock, and jet lag can easily have an effect on appetite and hunger because of it. One of the best things you can do is get yourself a hearty, proper meal, either at a restaurant or ordered in to wherever you’re staying – preferable if you’re tired and not keen on being in a crowded space. There are plenty of healthy and filling options that you can chow down on and get your belly used to its new (or old, if you’re returning home) schedule, and options for those of all dietary requirements, from dairy-free to vegetarian. Get takeout and choose from a huge range of options to satisfy any craving, rest up, and prep your travel plans for the day to come.
Stay Up the Night Before Your flight
Recovery isn’t all about what you can do after jet lag strikes – it can be about prevention and limitation, too. If you know you’ve got a flight scheduled the next day, think about staying up beforehand and making yourself tired on purpose. It may seem counter intuitive, and the airport security process may be a little more frustrating, but being able to close your eyes and sleep on the flight over will allow you to wake up fresh and ready as soon as you land. Provided the flight gets in at an appropriate time in the morning of your destination country, you might just avoid jet lag altogether.
Change Your Watch – and Your Phone, and Your iPod
A good meal wasn’t enough, staying up wasn’t an option, and you find yourself jet-lagged despite all your best efforts. Fear not, however! It will certainly be a struggle to adjust, but the effects won’t last forever. Set your watch, including digital ones such as those on your smartphone, to the time of your country of arrival as soon as possible, and actively change your frame of mind to suit. You may be tired, you may have insomnia, but indulging jet lag only makes it worse. Stick to the new time zone as strictly as possible, get an early night or take a nap, and then get back out there and explore.
Whatever your situation, no one enjoys jet lag. Try out these three tips next time you’re abroad adventuring, and you might just find that first and second day a little more bearable.