Long-haul flights can take the joy out of a vacay, worse still if you happen to be travelling for business. It’s not just a matter of suffering though the flight, the biggest difficulty lies in adjusting your circadian rhythm to the time zone of your destination.
There might not be a complete solution to jet lag as yet, but there are plenty of things you can do to diminish its effects. Here are a few unusual ones we think are worth trying:
1. Use a jet lag calculator
There are several of such tools on the web and in the app store, which provide you with a customised approach to battling jet lag based on your unique itinerary. Simply key in your flight and travel details, and you’ll be presented with a plan that tells you when exactly you should sleep, get some light exposure or a dose of melatonin. We suggest the Jet Lag Rooster, which you can download for free.
2. Go slow and wear sunglasses
If you’re arriving at your destination in the day (and assuming it’s night-time in your home country then), don’t try to adjust to the new time zone immediately. Ease yourself into it instead by controlling your exposure to light, which directly impacts your sleep patterns. Put on your shades during the last bit of your flight and continue to wear them for a few more hours after you’ve deplaned.
3. Pop the pill
Not sleeping pills, which could potentially exacerbate your sleep problems, but No Jet Lag, a homeopathic formulation. Made with herbal ingredients that alleviate tension, sleeplessness, muscle soreness and digestive discomfort, this is one option that won’t hurt even if it doesn’t work quite as effectively as it claims. Available at Guardian and Watsons.
4. Book your next flight on an A350 XWB
This new Airbus plane uses an LED light system to mimic the natural phases of sunlight. Throughout the flight, the colour temperature of the lights will be changed to help adjust passengers’ body clocks. Singapore Airlines has already ordered 67 of the A350, and will be putting the aircraft on its inaugural flight on 9 May to Amsterdam. Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Finnair and TAM are other airlines that will be flying the plane.