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Beat the jet lag drag

Whether you’re traveling long haul for business or pleasure, for most of us jet lag can be a major ¬problem. The question is: how can you avoid it, or, at least, what can you do to minimize its effects?

Plan ahead
In general, experts advise to put yourself on the time zone of your destination, ideally beginning days before you leave. If you’re flying east you should gradually move bedtime earlier, or later if flying west. Studies have shown that attempting to advance or delay your body clock gradually before you travel can make the adjustment faster and easier on your body. Try to use daylight as much as possible as this has a positive effect on your biological clock.

Bit by bit
Almost everyone agrees that the most important thing of all is to adjust as quickly as possible to your new time zone, so it’s good to change your watch to the time of your destination as soon as you board the plane. 

Train for the plane 
Exercise helps the body ­relax, leading to a deeper sleep, and helping you to wake up feeling rested. Try to stretch and get up on your feet as often as possible during the flight.

That’s why they call it the blues
You may have been saving up your favorite TV series or movies to watch onboard, but that may not be your best bet, because the blue-spectrum light emitted by your gadgets acts as a stimulant. It’s far better to read a book or magazine (we recommend Scandinavian Traveler), but if you really can’t go without that latest episode of your box set, try to switch it off one hour before your desired plane nap time.

Water 
It’s vital to stay hydrated, so make sure you always have water handy and drink at regular intervals. For similar reasons, keep coffee and alcohol to an absolute minimum.

Tooled up 
Your essential travel kit should be close at hand, and include an eye mask, neck pillow, ear plugs, comfortable clothing and a blanket – keeping warm is key since the body won’t go to sleep if it is cold. Some even go so far as taking their own pajamas to replicate as closely as possible a “normal night’s sleep.”

When you arrive…
On your first night, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep so try to go to bed early and avoid partying. If you’re traveling on business, avoid, if you can, having to do anything important for at least half a day after landing.

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