Most people who travel the globe are all too familiar with the effects of jet lag. It typically occurs when a plane crosses three or more time zones, disrupting the body’s natural circadian rhythm. But although jet lag is common, there are plenty of factors that can impact its severity. That’s why we asked high-performance consultants, Hinsta, for their expert advice on minimising the effects. If you’d like to arrive at your next destination feeling fresh and ready to go, read on.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF JET LAG?
For some people, jet lag lasts for a few days. For others, it can last up to a few weeks. According to research, jet lag is often worse when travelling east and the more time zones you cross, the more intense the effects are likely to be.
Typical symptoms include difficulty sleeping, tiredness during the day, brain fog and gastrointestinal problems. And whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, these effects can have a serious impact on your performance or your experience of your destination.
Luckily, Hintsa uses scientific rigour and a holistic approach to help everyone from F1 champions to global CEOs reach their peak. So, to make sure you step off your aircraft at your best, we asked them for their top five tips for beating jet lag:
1. SLEEP WELL BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Sleep quality on planes is generally low. So, try to be as well-rested as you can before flying to minimise the negative impact of poor sleep while travelling.
2. PACK HELPFUL TRAVEL ACCESSORIES
Improve sleep quality in the air with comfortable clothing, an eye mask, ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones, and compression socks.
3. STAY HYDRATED AND AVOID ALCOHOL
Drink plenty of water when you’re on board – the combination of low humidity in the cabin and the altitude of the plane makes dehydration more likely. It’s also worth avoiding alcohol, as it has a negative impact on sleep and recovery.
4. SLEEP ACCORDING TO THE DESTINATION TIME ZONE
Aim to sleep according to your destination’s time zone. If your flight leaves during the day (but it’s nighttime in your destination), it’s important to get some sleep in the air. A few days in advance of your trip, start shifting your personal clock slightly towards the new time zone – this will help you to adapt more quickly when you arrive.
And when you’re not sleeping, remember to walk around and stretch during the flight.
5. PAY ATTENTION TO LIGHT EXPOSURE AND MEAL TIMING
Correctly-timed light exposure speeds up the resynchronisation of your body clock in the new time zone (some high-performance individuals, such as F1 drivers, try to avoid seeing light in their destination when it’s still nighttime at the place of departure).
When travelling east, morning light can help to wake up your body and brain. And if you’re travelling west, exposing yourself to more light at night may help you to stay awake later. In general, going out in the sunshine is an effective way to reduce the release of sleep-inducing melatonin hormones.
Meal timing is also important: your internal body clock shifts slowly, and eating heavy meals when your body still thinks it’s night-time can lead to digestive problems.
HOW FLYING PRIVATELY CAN HELP YOU TO BEAT JET LAG
When you charter a jet, you can expect stress-free travel with minimal check-in times and your own space and privacy. With Victor, you can even access aircraft that have been designed with beating jet lag in mind. Here are our top aircraft picks: The Bombardier Global 5000, the Dassault Falcon 7X and Dassault Falcon 8X, and the Gulfstream G-550 and G-650. With their larger cabins and windows, plus LED lights designed to mimic the sun’s natural glow, these jets’ innovative design features help to maintain the body’s natural rhythms.