Tuesday, 17 March 2009

How to beat Jetlag

Every few months I make a 5,456 mile pilgrimage to Head Office. That's a twelve hour flight going against the clock and arriving four hours after I left, relatively speaking. That extra eight hours in the day can really screw up your body clock.

I've worked out a system to beat desynchronosis that works well for me, so I thought I'd share it here:
  • Direct Flight: Get a direct flight. Changing planes and layovers will just make transit time longer and jetlag harder to deal with.

  • Don't Sleep: Keep yourself awake on the plane. Cram in as many movies as you can, or if books are your thing, take a real page turner. Don't get drunk in the lounge or on the plane, it'll just make it worse.

  • Arrival Time: Arrive in the late afternoon or early evening and keep yourself awake until at least 9PM. This shouldn't be too difficult with the process of getting from airport to hotel, if you get the arrival time right.

  • Eat Before You Sleep: Once you have arrived and checked in to your hotel, eat a proper meal. This is crucial to success. Your body-clock will still think it's 4AM at this point, but if you eat a decent meal and then go to bed, the meal can trigger a reset in your circadian rhythm. You should sleep a good eight hours and be ready to face the world the next day.

Admittedly, westward jetlag is easier to deal with than eastward, and I am still learning to best way to combat that. Ultimately the same principals should still apply.

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