Do you have a jam-packed travel schedule? Long distance meetings and busy conferences may fit your schedule, but they can also be hard on your body.
Here are ten tips to beat jet lag as you cross time zones and make your next long distance trip as gentle as possible.
Before You Go:
1. Get onto schedule early. Adopt the time zone of your destination as early as possible. Flying east? Get to sleep earlier the nights before departure. Flying west? Stay up later!
2. Pick a business class seat (or ask your travel manager to help you pick the best economy or premium economy seat.) With more room to spread out, you’ll enjoy a more relaxed and restful flight.
3. Skip the caffeine. If you’re planning to sleep on the plane, prepare for a groggy morning. Caffeine stays in your body for longer than you think, so avoiding all of it is the best way to ensure an easy sleep.
On the Plane:
4. Is it night-time at your destination? Put down the cell phone and turn off your laptop and TV. Screens emit blue-spectrum light which jump start your circadian clock and disrupt your ability to sleep.
5. Skip the drink cart. Alcohol leads to fragmented sleep and can make you groggy when you wake up. Opt for water instead.
6. Create a calm environment. Many people suffer from ‘environmental insomnia’ where the sensations of a strange place affect your ability to fall asleep. Mimic your bedroom’s calm, dark space by bringing an eye mask, neck pillow and ear plugs on board – and be sure to wear something comfortable.
The Night You Arrive:
7. Try melatonin.This natural supplement helps regulate your body’s sleep cycle. Take melatonin after dark on the day you travel and for several days after to get to sleep at a decent hour and get your body onto local time.
8. Flowers more your style? Lavender is a known sleep enhancer and can act as a mild sedative. Add a couple of drops of lavender oil to your hotel room pillow for a restful night.
The Morning After:
9. Get outside! When flying west to east, you’re going to be sleepy the day after arrival. Sleep as much as you can that first night, and then greet the sun! Take a walk in the sunshine (or turn on a bright light) to cue your body that it’s time to wake up.
10. Take it easy. We’ve all been guilty of the ‘off the plane and to the meeting’ routine but it’s not good for you or your business. Plan for jet lag on longer trips, and give yourself a day to acclimatise before you have to hit that presentation out of the park.