Travelling on long-haul distance flights which usually cross a number of time zones often has a common side effect: Jet Lag. This is usually a state of discomfort with symptoms such as insomnia, irritability and alteration of gastroenterological habits. It is especially annoying if you end up being jet lagged for as long as two days and may be the reason to spoil a long planned and deserved break.
Although, you can get jet lag travelling either from east to west, you are more likely to have symptoms when travelling in an easterly direction rather than westwards. This is because our body adapts better to an extension of daytime cycle, which occurs when travelling from one time zone to another, rather than the opposite.
So, how can we avoid jet lag symptoms? Here is a list of precautions and tips that can make the difference:
You can anticipate the change in the day-night cycle and adapt to the time you are going to be in after your journey by going either earlier or later to bed, depending on the direction of your trip.
Discomfort in the bowel activity is typically due to the air pressure in the plane cabin. So, make sure you do not overeat before travelling and try to avoid gassy foods.
It is better to sit on the aisle side during the flight so that you can stand up and walk along more frequently because it is very important to get your body as much exercised as possible.
Do not drink coffee or tea while flying. Other than giving you excessive nervousness, these drinks may cause dehydration and alter you body equilibrium. Instead, make sure you drink plenty of water.
Try to switch as quick as possible you eating habits to the local time, even though you might feel more like having breakfast instead of dinner.
Finally, as soon as you are on the plane, set your clock to the local time of your destination. This will also help your body getting accustomed to the change.