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Six Tips for Avoiding Jet Lag When Flying Down Under

jet-lag-7133770Though there are certainly many reasons to visit Australia, the time zone is definitely not one of them. Should you be heading down under from the US or Europe, don’t expect to enjoy the first two to three days of your trip very much.

Unfortunately, humans have internal clocks and our bodies tend to get very irritated when the world stops obeying them. Have you ever tried to sleep when your body is telling you it’s time to go to work? It’s not much fun. Though jet lag can never completely be prevented, the severity of its symptoms can be greatly minimized. Here are six useful tips for doing just that.

Start Early

The earlier you begin to adjust to your new time zone, the better you are going to feel. Many frequent fliers suggest adjusting your watch to your new time zone as soon as you get onboard your flight. Though it won’t be easy, do your best to sleep and eat onboard at the same times that you will be doing so once you arrive in Australia. And if you arrive at your new destination during the morning, avoid the urge to fall into a deep sleep at all costs.

Stay Indoors

Your first day down under is likely to be the worst in terms of jet lag symptoms. During the first twenty four hours, you should spend as much time as possible indoors. This is because the more you expose yourself to the sun when your body still thinks it’s night time, the worse you are going to feel. After twenty four hours however, the sunlight can actually help. Not only will going out give you some much needed fresh air, it will also help your body to accept its new surroundings.

Take Short Naps

Some people suggest avoiding sleep completely during the day but I have found on multiple occasions that a short nap can actually help. The important thing is to keep your naps below the thirty minute mark. It’s also worth noting that if you are exhausted, be very careful about relying on an alarm clock to wake you up. If you are worried that you won’t be able to sleep that night, simply avoid taking such naps after six pm local time.

Drink Coffee (In Small Quantities)

Caffeine can help but don’t overdo it. Drinking a small amount to get you through the day makes sense, drinking so much that you cannot sleep when you are actually supposed to does not help. It’s also worth noting that caffeine tends to increase the already high levels of stress and tension experienced by those suffering from jet lag.

Avoid Alcohol/Sedatives

Alcohol and sleeping pills are commonly taken by those suffering from jet lag but the results are rarely positive. Though alcohol can certainly help you to actually get to sleep, it greatly diminishes the quality of the sleep that you to do manage to get. Sedatives can help you to get to sleep too but they are both habit forming and tend to lead to drowsiness when you finally do wake up.

Be Patient

Finally, it’s important to accept that it does take time to get over jet lag. It doesn’t matter how many jet lag tips you follow, the human body requires between two and three days to adjust to a new time zone. Avoid doing anything stressful and just try to take it easy. The more you try to push yourself past the symptoms, the worse you are likely to feel.

Mike Johnson is a travel fanatic from the beautiful city of Sydney. His favourite destinations include South Africa, New Zealand, the Caribbean Islands and the Middle East. So the next time you go on a holiday, you might just bump into Mike. He writes extensively for Port Stephens accommodation service One Mile Beach.

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