Home TIPS Frequent flyer tips: How to deal with jet lag
Frequent flyer tips: How to deal with jet lag PDF Print E-mail

Jet lag is one of the most bothersome problems for frequent flyers. Many regularly fly three hours coast to coast, six hours to Europe or 10 hours to Asia and Australia.

As soon as the flight lands, they may be required to show up fresh and rested at meetings and conference events. Recently we talked with several globe hoppers, and asked them to reveal their secrets of handling the tough schedules. These are some of their suggestions.

1. Try to keep your sleep-wake times as close to your at-home routine. Of course, if you can fly first class, schedule your flight as a red eye. If not, and you can get comfortable in your aircraft seat over a four- or eight-hour flight, make yourself at home.

Take along loose clothing, slippers and night shades. Get as much sleep as you can, and in the morning, dress up in the plane’s bathroom or airport restroom. Then, bright and fresh, go to that important assignment.  

2. The disruption of your regular schedule of sleep can affect your body. Eat spare meals, go very light on alcohol and drink plenty of water. If it’s a red eye flight, stay away from coffee and other stimulants. Aircraft cabin air conditioning is very dry, so in addition to drinking lots of water, at least once an hour, splash your face and hands with some of it and/or a light skin wash.

3. Don’t just sit there for four to eight hours, all stiff and cramped. Get up from your seat at least once an hour and do some stretching exercise. In some aircraft there’s an aft space near the exit door. Use it for some in-place jogging and other light workouts.

In the airport awaiting your flight, walk around briskly for about ten minutes per hour.  Exercise helps in digestion and blood flow, and makes your body ready for the challenges of the day.

4. If you can't get long hours of continuous sleep in flight, take as many quick cat naps as you can throughout your travels. Use terminal benches, taxi seats or anywhere else you can curl up safely for 10 to 15 minutes.

Whatever your flight schedule, treat your body with respect, and it will reward you with alertness and energy to face a new day thousands of miles away.

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