Crossing time zones can wreak havoc on your body for days after your return flight. So, from what to eat and when to sleep, we reveal the most effective ways to prevent and overcome jet-lag.
Your body secretes hormones at certain times of day, and your brain expects different hormones to be at work at certain times. For example, cortisol, a stress hormone, rises in the morning when you’re about to start your day and face the world, while the growth hormone is produced at night. This is all controlled by the endocrine system, and the timing of these hormones helps your brain know whether it’s day or night, based on the previous day and night. However, when you travel this of course gets set to the wrong pattern, as your behaviour is out of sync with your body’s hormones and the endocrine system. In order to avoid this, and prepare your body, in the days leading up to your flight, adjust your bedtime by an hour a day to get more sunlight in the morning if you are flying east, or in the evening if you are heading west. Book flights that land in the daylight when possible and change your watch and phone to the destination time before boarding.
Skin gets very little oxygen during flight time as you are enclosed in an encapsulated environment without fresh air, and depending on recycled air. This immediately results in dehydration, sensitivity, and tired dull skin, as it does not get cleansed thoroughly, so it’s important to travel with clean skin, avoiding makeup. It is also key to stay hydrated, aiming to drink a litre of water before taking off, and at least ½ a litre for every hour on board. On arrival, to revive tired skin, massage your moisturiser in, focusing on the key pressure points, including the temples, in between the brows, the tops of the cheekbones and along your jawbone. This will help to boost your circulation and give you a healthy glow.
Pick up some healthy snacks, such as chia seeds, unsalted nuts, apples, and coconut bites, for the flight, as in-flight meals tend to contain salt which will dehydrate you further. These are also effective energy boosts, as flying at high altitudes seriously dehydrates your body together with affecting your energy levels. When you arrive try to stick to your destinations meal times, so if it’s breakfast time when you arrive, eat something appropriate even if you don’t fancy it, as we have a food-related body clock.