Travel experts’ tips to beat jet lag from sleep changes to drinking enough water

It's half term and plenty of Brits are jetting off on holidays for the week.

However, one major issue that affects kids and adults alike when we come back from being abroad is jet lag.

If you flew somewhere long-haul for the week or even if it was just a few hours ahead or behind your usual time zone, you can be left feeling groggy in the mornings or struggling to fall asleep.

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Lots of people with jet lag can also suffer from poor sleep quality, lack of concentration and exhaustion.

That's not good when you return from your holiday and need to go back to work and school.

To help you out, luxury travel experts at Inspiring Travel have shared some of the top tips for beating jet lag.

Check them out below…

Choose your arrival time wisely

Dr Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy says: "Jet lag is known to be worse for those travelling east than for those travelling west.

"This is thought to be because when you travel east, bedtime arrives earlier (for example 11pm in Paris is 5pm in Miami), and it's harder to go to sleep any earlier than your usual time."

However, one way to combat this is to opt for a flight that arrives in the afternoon rather than an early morning.

Change your bedtime

It’s important to sleep before travel because if you're tired or groggy, this could only make the jet lag worse.

One trick is to change your bedtime in line with the destination’s time zone a few nights before you're due to set off.

So, gradually move your bedtime earlier if you're flying east, and slowly move your bedtime later if you’re flying west before you set off to your destination.

Alternatively, try moving your bedtime in the days leading up to your return home by an hour or so each night.

Cut back on alcohol and caffeine

For many of us it’s a tradition to have a little tipple on the plane, but did you know this could increase jet lag symptoms?

Not only can alcohol have this effect, but caffeine too! Both can disrupt your sleep, making jet lag more severe.

Dr Deborah commented: "Alcohol suppresses the production of melatonin, so disturbing circadian rhythms.

"It may initially make you feel sleepy, but alcohol is broken down in the body into acetaldehyde, which is a stimulant."

Not only that, but "caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant. It induces wakefulness and is often used to fight sleep in those who need to stay awake".

Sleep on the plane (or avoid it)

While you may think that sleeping on the plane is a sure-fire way of preventing jet lag, this is not always the case.

If it’s daytime at your destination while in-flight, it’s best to avoid sleeping otherwise your body’s internal clock will be out of sync with the time zone of your arrival destination.

On the other hand, if it’s night time at your destination, then sleeping will help put your circadian cycle in sync.

Keep hydrated

Dr. Deborah noted that studies found passengers lose a whopping 465ml of water an hour in-flight through the skin and from exhaling. That’s compared with just 125ml/hour normally.

She said: "Air passengers are at increased risk of dehydration. The lower cabin pressure relatively lowered oxygen levels, and lowered humidity inside the cabin means that travellers experience increased water loss.

"Being dehydrated has a negative effect on the immune system, and also contributes to feelings of air sickness, nausea, and vomiting."

Not only that, but being dehydrated can contribute to fatigue and headaches, making jet lag worse, so it’s a good idea to keep drinking fluids during a flight.

Sync your circadian rhythm

Jet lag is caused by your internal clock being disrupted, partly due to your exposure to changes in light as you move between time zones.

Natural light has the biggest influence on the circadian rhythm, so this can speed up the process of syncing your internal clock to your destination time zone.

If you’re travelling east, be sure to expose yourself to as much light as possible when you arrive. However, if you’re flying west, you’ll need to expose yourself to night time light.

You can find out more at


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