Kick Jet Lag In To Touch

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Kick jet lag in to touch with these tips before jetting off on the summer holiday of a lifetime which is one of the best feelings in the world. Spending the first few days battling jet lag not so much.

Also known as ‘desynchronosis’ and ‘flight fatigue’, jet lag is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia and sometimes other symptoms. This is due to air travel across different time zones.

It’s caused by a disruption to your circadian rhythm the internal body clock that governs your daily sleep-wake pattern.

Besides fatigue and insomnia, unlucky travellers may experience a number of physical and emotional effects. This includes anxiety, constipation, diarrhoea, confusion, dehydration and headaches.

But can you avoid this one-way ticket to exhaustion?

Here are a few pointers to assist you for a comfortable flight.

1. Stay Hydrated

Water - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Before a flight, it can be tempting to load up on wine and beer to calm your nerves or caffeinated drinks to keep you awake, but this could be doing more harm than good.

Hydration can be key. Your body recovers best when it isn’t depleted of fluids. Tea, coffee and alcohol can dehydrate you, depending on what type you have.

When it comes to choosing from the drinks trolley mid-flight, I would suggest sticking to plain water. This is due to the fact artificial stimulants will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time.

Drink enough water to make sure your urine is a pale straw colour. You might also find that you get more dehydrated when you’re flying and need to drink more than normally.

2. Turn Off Gadgets

Gadgets - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

When you arrive at your destination, it can be really tempting to start updating your social media channels and checking up on the day’s news. If you’re planning to get some shut-eye, this can really throw off your sleep schedule.

The blue light emitted by your device can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime even when it’s not.

If you find yourself awake late in the evening, choose a light evening meal and stretch your legs outdoors instead.

Switch off electronic gadgets and read a book to help you fall asleep.

3. Bring Your Own Pillow

Pillow Sleep - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Try to maintain your personal sleep routine while you’re away from home.

Make time to set out your bedtime stuff, such as your pyjamas and toilet bag, so that things will be ready when you return for the night.

Also, try to preserve your pre-sleep habits and routines. These are important behavioural cues for sleep, so make sure you pack any items which support these behaviours, like photos, books, blankets and consider taking your own pillow.

4. Adjust Your Watch

Irish Rugby Tours Blog

A simple but effective trick you can do during your flight is to change your watch, phone and laptop to match the time of your destination.

This will mentally prepare you for the new time zone you’re about to enter.

Imagine what you would be doing at your destination and try to mimic that as much as possible, especially meals and bedtime.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly shifting your mind’s perspective and small actions can help your body adjust to the changes.

5. Snack On Cherries

Cherries - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Struggling to sleep in your hotel? Instead of ordering room service, try and find a local fruit vendor.

Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle.

Cherries can help improve sleep quality, including sleep efficiency, the number of awakenings at night, nocturnal activity and actual time spent sleeping.

To reap the benefits, have either a handful of cherries as a bedtime snack or swill down a small serving of tart juice.  Subsequently you might just find that it stops you from staring at the ceiling all night.