During your flight
If you associate flying with a free feed, movie madness and drinks on tap, it might be time for a rethink.
Switch to your destination’s time
As soon as you step on the plane, set your watch or phone to the local time at your destination. You can then begin to sync sleeping and eating patterns with the time at your journey’s end.
Eat and drink like your body is a temple
There are certain foods that are well known to help you sleep better – such as kiwis and bananas. Besides adding a few of those to your flight diet, try to:
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. They can disrupt your sleep
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration will worsen the effects of jet lag so drinking lots of water before, during and after your flight is a smart move.
Get some quality sleep
Top up your sleep on the plane, even if it’s only a few hours here and there. It’ll make a difference when you arrive by helping you stay awake until evening.
Maximise your inflight comfort and sleep easier with a travel neck pillow, ear plugs and an eye mask. Also wear comfy, loose-fitting clothing to help you relax and drift off.
Avoid taking sleeping pills as these won’t help you adjust to new time zones and may wipe you out for hours – inhibiting your ability to get up and move around, which combats deep-vein thrombosis (DVT).
When all's said and done, if your flight arrives in the early hours of the morning, you’ll want to have slept. For instance, if you wake up on arrival at 7am, you’re telling your body what time zone you’re now in.
Block out light and noise
Packing a sleeping mask and ear plugs are essential for helping you to tune out the cabin atmosphere. When your brain senses darkness, it begins to produce melatonin which is the chemical that initiates sleep.
Harness whatever tools you have to make your flight comfortable and silent. Dark sunglasses and noise-cancelling headphones can also help set the stage for a siesta.
Frequently walk around the cabin
On long distance flights particularly, try to get up and around the cabin as regularly as you can. Keeping your blood circulation flowing during the flight will reduce the risk of headaches, especially those brought on by dehydration, which can make it that much harder to beat jet lag in those initial hours of landing.
Stretching is also an important activity on flights to help reduce idleness and the risk of developing DVT.