– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Are you taking a long-haul flight soon? Australian scientists recommend preparing in advance if you want to reduce the chances of jet lag.
Singapore Airlines is gearing up to launch the world’s longest non-stop flight of 18 hours and 40 minutes from Singapore to New York, while Qantas is aiming to offer a 20-hour flight between Sydney and London by 2020. Though lengthy flights are great for those who want to explore distant lands, researchers have decided to look into the downsides of such a journey, and how to improve the experience.
Experts from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre reviewed all of the relevant research into non-pharmacological ways to counteract jet lag, and concluded that there are several strategies that can be implemented to stop excessive tiredness.
“What we do know is that light is the most important factor in jet lag,” public health researcher Dr. Sun Bin explained on RN Breakfast. “And I think the other important factor that most people don’t talk about is planning. The research tells us we need to alter our body clocks for days and even weeks before even boarding the flight. And then we need to keep doing that inflight, along with avoiding alcohol and drinking enough water.”
As the body clock can only be reset by approximately 90 minutes a day, it’s vital that you make this change gradually by altering your bedtime night by night.
“Basically, jet lag is a mismatch between your body clock and the time at your destination,” she added. “In the days before you fly, you really should be going to bed a bit later, maybe half an hour; an hour later in the three or four days before you even get on your flight” – or earlier, depending on where in the world you are travelling to.
Dr. Bin also recommends trying to get out into the sun during the day and avoiding light input from devices like phones and computers at night.