Are you a business traveller and find yourself extremely tired or struggling to deal with jet lag? From downloading apps to diet and hydration we have put together some top tips on how to avoid or at least reduce jet lag.
1. Diet, Hydration and Health
Your diet and exercise routine can have a huge impact on your sleeping patterns. Studies have suggested that the body’s natural circadian rhythm is adaptable to both light and food, so as well as adjusting your sleeping pattern to match your destination, it is also recommended to adjust your meal times too.
If you are travelling on business overnight it’s suggested that fasting and not eating until the breakfast time of your destination will help your body quickly adjust when you land, preventing the onset of jet lag.
Top tip: Try to avoid eating heavy meals that are high in fat, and opt for lighter, protein rich meals.
It is also important to keep hydrated whilst travelling. A dehydrated body is counterproductive to sleep as it causes symptoms such as sweating and headaches which is never beneficial for an early business meeting. Also, don’t forget to leave some room in your case for your gym clothes – getting in just 30 minutes’ exercise each day of your trip will improve your overall productivity and self-well-being.
2. Synchronising sleep
If your business trip is planned it is recommended to adjust your sleeping routine a few days before to allow your body to adjust. If you’re flying west, you’ll want to stay up a bit later. If you’re flying east, then start by catching a few early nights. If your business trip is unplanned and sprung on you last minute you can still put in place these synchronising measures when you’re on board the plane. Set your watch to the destination’s time zone immediately and then, if possible, align your eating, drinking and napping habits to coincide with the natural times that you would do these things and continue with upon arrival.
3. App’s to inhibit jet lag
Jet Lag Rooster is a very effective app designed to minimise the effects of jet lag. It is easy to use and very efficient. The app requests basics details of your trip and your usual sleep habits, from the details provided the app devises a sleep schedule for the next five days, with times to avoid and suggests when to expose yourself to sunlight and when to avoid it.
Top tip: It is recommended to start using the app 2-4 days prior to your business trip to achieve the best results.
4. CTM’s Managing Director, Jamie Pherous and Global COO, Laura Ruffles reveal their habits to reduce jet lag
Jamie: While you are travelling, it is a good idea to set your watch to the new time zone and try to sleep and eat by it, that way once you have landed it shouldn’t take too long for the routine to set in and your body clock to reset. Exercise before a flight is my number 1 priority. It burns off calories and helps you relax when on board. Even a brisk walk round the airport can help if you are on an early flight out.
Laura: Clock watching is the worst. Try not to count how many hours you have or haven’t slept, it can have the opposite effect and make it much harder! Also try not to dwell on being in a different time zone, constantly seeing what time it is at home can make the struggle worse, especially if you are travelling through multiple time zones on one journey. I always try to eat every meal time for additional energy. Even if I don’t feel hungry, because I am out of sync, it helps convince your body of the new schedule.
I also recommend Exercise. When travelling I ensure I exercise every day, it might not be a full work out like I would at home, but stretches or little exercises that can be done in your room can be a big help, especially if you are not in a hotel with a fully equipped gym. Getting out and about in natural daylight can also help reset your body clock, so maybe mix the two and go for a run/walk.
When travelling for business you want to be as productive as possible. These sleeping tips can go a long way to helping you prevent jet lag on your next trip, so start planning now.