Asking a sleep expert: how to combat jet lag this summer!

Asking a sleep expert: how to combat jet lag this summer!

Jet lag. We all hate it, don't we? You're all excited for your summer holiday: bags packed.

 

Then, bam, you get there and you haven't got the energy to do anything. We're all going to face this issue this summer as we jet off to catch some sun.

 

So, at Kokoon, we sat down with our in-house sleep expert - UCL researcher Nick Witton - to ask what his top tips are for combatting jet lag this summer.

 

Here's what he had to to say.

 

Before you leave...

 

Even before you board that plane - get yourself prepared.

 

Tip 1: Set your clock early!

 

Easy on paper, hard in practice. Here's what Nick had to say:

Depending on which way you are travelling you can enable your circadian clock to begin to reset the internal time to the new environment time by either shifting your day either forward or back before you leave.

Where possible, you can either go to bed an hour earlier or later (depending on whether you're travelling east or west) each night to help your body adjust to a new time zone, reducing the number of days it will take to readjust to your new time zone.

This can also be done by adjust your exposure to light and darkness in the days before you travel.

 

Tip 2: Book sensible flights!

 

Maybe not one that's possible for everyone - but, if you can, it might be worth that extra £££.


Find flight times which do not deprive you of sleep before departure and will enable you to sleep at your newly desired time.


New planes are equipped with air purification systems, hi-tech humidification systems and circadian lighting can all help reduce the effects of jet lag.

Tip 3: Pack a sleep kit!


If you've got the money left over after your flights and accommodation, investing in some top-quality sleep tech might be well worth it.


Pack your pillow or if not possible pack your own pillow case. An eye mask, lightbox.

You may also find that a pair of specialist sleep headphones will help you out on your journey.

On the flight...


Don't stop prioritising your sleep once you get onto the plane.

Tip 1: Set your watch and time to your final destination!


Get yourself prepared as early as possible by setting your phone's clock to your new timezone before you set off.

Tip 2: Avoid alcohol & caffeine.


Avoiding any form of stimulant is a good idea to ensure you get the best night's rest pre-trip.

Artificial stimulants will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time. Your body functions best when it’s hydrated, so drinking lots of water is a great way to offset the effects of jet lag.

 

Tip 3: Move around!


If you're keen to stay awake on the flight, ensure you get some regular 'exercise' (or whatever you can do!) to keep the blood flowing and your mind awake.

Get up and stretch, keep the blood and the endorphins flowing.

Once your land...

 

And, finally, once you get there - still keep an eye on what you can do to reduce jetlag.

Tip 1: Hunt the daylight!


It might be hard to do so after a night enjoying cocktails - but make sure to get yourself as much sunlight as possible at the correct times.

Seek as much daylight as you can in your new time zone, particularly in the morning. Sit by a window or better yet, get outside and catch some rays. Alternatively, use a light box and do some exercise.

Tip 2: Exercise at the right times

 

Nothing beats a run alongside the beach - and it might be your best tool to combatting jet lag.

Do some exercise to boost your endorphins and let the body know this is the time you'd like to be active and not asleep. 

Tip 3: Keep your routine going.

 

You've deserved that long lie-in on your break - but try not to drift too far from your normal habits.

Have a constant sleep/wake time and stick to a pre- and post-sleep routine.

Tip 4: Create a 'sleep haven'.


Ensure everything is set up in your new location to get the perfect night's sleep.

Make your bedroom as dark as possible, remove any electrical lights, set your optimal temperature (usually between 16 and 19 degrees). 

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