Flight Africa Tips: How to beat the Jet lag

Travel Tips on how to beat the jet lag

The holidays are finally over and many families and travelers are once again up in the air back to the routine of 2012. Since most people go to holidays across different time zones, many often experience the jet lag.

Jet lag is one of the bad side effects of internationa travel and normally occurs when you cross several time zones, four  or five time zones. For example when you are traveling from East to West or West to East.
Travelers on Trans Atlantic Flights are more likely to experience a jet lag. Also, travelers traveling to and from Africa into the Far East destinations like China, Thailand are likely to experience some jet lag as the time zones interfere with your body clock.

Beat the jet lag
 Here are a few tips on how you can combat jet lag and quickly settle into the business and life's tasks for the year 2012. Life is too short to be wasted on a jet lag :)

Before the flight, try "living" in the time zone of your destination. For example, if you live in East Africa and your destination is Guangzhou, which is 5 hours ahead of Nairobi time, try to assume you are already in Guangzhou two days before the flight and begin "living" in that time zone. If you sleep at 8pm, then go to bed at 2am or 3am and wake up at 10am to fit into the Guangzhou time zone. Sounds crazy, but has worked for me and several other travelers.

When you board the plane, set your watch to the time of your destination so that you can mentally adjust to your destination during flight and on landing. The airline you’re flying with will also set the cabin lighting and dinner schedules to match the time at your destination. In this way, your body is tricked into getting accustomed to your destination's time zone.

Another thing you can do is get some decent sleep during the flight. Bring along your special pillow, grab some extra blankets if they are available, put in your ear plugs and eye mask. If your airline includes some socks in the amenities pack then put them on. Cosy feet is essential for a good uninterrupted sleep.

If you are not a good plane sleeper, consider contacting your doctor to prescribe you some mild sleeping pills to help you sleep soundly during the flight. Also and very importantly, be 100% sure that you have carried the prescription box with and not just the tablets :) In other words make sure you take the correct prescription. (Does this ring true? Passenger Left Sleeping on Plane Sues Airline)

On waking up and after your sound sleep, make sure you take a walk through the cabin. Go to the toilet to stretch your legs and drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.

If it's daylight when you arrive at your destination, try very hard to stick to the destination's time zone. Don't be tempted to go  to sleep in the morning and wake up  at 3pm. You will probably mess up the body clock that you had spent so much time tuning before and during the flight. Resist the temptation to sleep until it's time to sleep at night otherwise you might find yourself staring at the sky at 3am with nothing much to do in a new country.

One interesting tip i read on a travel blog, when traveling in the Easterly direction, the Jet lag is more pronounced than when you are traveling in a Westerly direction? Why is that? Perhaps I will cover that in my next post :) Happy Travels!

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