We’re moving into peak travel season in Australia as everyone chases that hot Euro summer. But if you’re looking to travel to the Northern Hemisphere you’re probably looking at a long flight and a large time change, and we all know what that means: jetlag.
Jetlag impacts everyone in different ways but if you’re looking for some general tips to help you fight the sleepy stick, we’ve got just such a list for you.
Top tips for beating jetlag
This advice comes from ResMed Australia’s resident Sleep Psychologist, Tim Stephenson. Let’s break them down.
1. Adjust your sleep pattern before travelling
Stephenson recommends adjusting your sleep pattern a few days prior to travelling, where you can.
“If you’re heading east, try to sleep earlier, or if you’re going west (to Europe!), push your bedtime a little later,” he said.
2. Let the sunshine in
Upon arriving at your destination, Stephenson recommends getting out into the daylight, particularly in the mornings. This will help reset your circadian rhythm.
A natural sleep aid like melatonin may also help you in the first few days after travel.
3. Make it feel like home
“Many people sleep their best when in familiar surroundings,” Stephenson said.
To try and recreate your home space abroad you can try travelling with your own pillows, blankets or familiar sleepwear. Repeating your usual bedtime routine can also aid with this, so if reading a book, having a bath or drinking a warm tea before bed helps you unwind at home, try and do the same thing on your travels.
“It’s not easy on holiday, where possible, try to eat and drink as you normally would at home,” Stephenson said.
This namely involves avoiding late-night alcohol and caffeine where possible.
It may seem like obvious advice, but relaxing after a day’s adventures will aid your sleep. As Stephenson points out, “sleep usually comes much easier if you are tired”.
He also suggests using deep breathing or meditation techniques at bedtime or using earplugs and white noise if you’re in a noisy area like an aeroplane.
Jetlag is never a fun time but hopefully, these tips help you sleep a bit better at night. Now all that’s left to do is book a flight and go.
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