Jet lag. A decidedly less-than-glamourous aspect of travelling, it can leave you exhausted, grumpy and disoriented – and even the most experienced travellers can’t avoid it. Still, there are things you can do to keep it at bay. Read on for our top tips for starting your next luxury holiday rested, refreshed, and raring to go.
Drift off before you set off
Though thinking of lying on the beach (and remembering your passport) can keep your mind buzzing the night before a flight, getting a good night’s sleep is paramount for starting out on the right foot. Some say the more rested your mind and body – and the closer you can stick to your normal sleep routine – the better you’ll feel on arrival. Along with packing right, getting at least six hours’ shuteye before take-off is the best way to prepare for the journey to come. Others swear by a quick top-up nap on the plane – just remember to pop an eye mask and earplugs in your hand luggage.
Get the lowdown on hydration
Jet lag throws our circadian rhythm – or body clock – way out of sync. One of the first things we suffer as a result is dehydration. So, as well as browsing the designer sunglasses at the airport, it’s a good idea to pick up a big bottle of water once you’re through security. And though it might be tempting to sneak in an extra espresso or a cocktail to toast the start of your holiday, too much alcohol and caffeine will only unravel the good work water does.
Tricky though it is to do a full circuits session on a long-haul journey, even just a short spell of stretching and walking around will do great things for your circulation. To stave off the physical lethargy of jet lag, exercising after arriving at your destination is also a wise idea. Your body and mind will thank you for it, and the added endorphins will help with sleep once you finally crash into bed.
Chase the sun
As we’re programmed to wake up when it’s light and bed down when it’s dark, exposure to sunlight does wonders for beating jet lag. Good news if you’re headed to somewhere balmy. But even if you land in colder climes, try to soak up as much natural daylight as possible (without falling asleep). This will naturally help re-programme your body clock to teach it the new time – and quickly realign your rhythm.
New time zone: new tricks
When suffering from jet lag, it can feel like your body is a fickle thing. But go easy on it. If you’ve flown long-haul, it’s been hurtled through several time zones at 30,000 feet. That said, following a few tricks will help it adjust in the first few days. Get ahead by changing the time on your watch or smartphone when you’re still on the plane. Eat nutritious food – in your SLH hotel or elsewhere – according to local mealtimes. And though we go on holiday to escape our routine, sticking to yours, for the first day or so at last, can help give your body its bearings. Then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy.