Travelling to a different time zone disrupts your circadian rhythm, causing jet lag. The body needs anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to acclimatise to your new time zone – it’s estimated to be approximately one day for each hour of time zone changes.
The below tips are helpful in preventing and reducing the effects of jet lag, allowing you to feel better and get on with business sooner:
- If you can influence when you travel, opt to fly overnight with a morning arrival at your destination. Ensure your booking also factors in at least half a day or more at your final destination before your first business meeting.
- Another option is to split up your trip by building in a one-day stopover – this can make it easier to adapt to the time-zone of your final destination, plus you get to explore a new city and often reduce the price of your airfare!
- A few days before you leave, start moving your eating and sleeping times to match what they will be at your destination.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks (including tea, coffee, energy drinks and some types of soda) in the 12 hours before your flight, and during the flight itself.
- Use your long-haul flights to get as much rest as possible so your body will be prepared for the new time zone. Wearing warm clothes and using a sleeping mask, comfortable neck pillow and ear plugs will help create a better environment for sleeping.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and even a hydration tablet full of electrolytes to ensure your body absorbs your intake.
- As well as avoiding caffeinated drinks, try to avoid the bar as alcohol will lead to dehydration.
- Try and restrict the amount of screen time you have – the blue-spectrum light many devices emit can delay sleep.
- Use time in transit to refresh, have a healthy meal as well as a walk around the terminal.
- Help adjust to your new time zone by exposing yourself to daylight or, if this is not possible, bright light to help reset your body clock.
- Exercise the day you arrive – we suggest a short walk or a few exercises in your hotel room.
- Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for a few hours prior to sleep at night.
- Mimic your usual bedtime routine.
- Use relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga.