In this article we consider Sleep Advice for Jet Lag a condition the symptoms of which include fatigue and insomnia; anxiety and headaches; and confusion and indigestion.
Beijing, LA, Slough. Travelling the world as part of your job can be a glamorous and exciting way to make a living. You get to see new cities, experience new cultures and taste new cuisine.
However, as with every occupation, there are pluses and minuses; and jobs that involve regular long distance travel can create dramatic changes in sleep time, playing havoc with your nocturnal routine. So how can you create order, when the world around you is constantly changing?
The key in this instance is to try to inform your body that sleep is nigh, not with timing cues but environmental ones.
Sleep Advice for Jet Lag – 3 Top Tips
Overcome first night syndrome by creating familiarity in unfamiliar surroundings. Take a comfortable pillow with you to ensure you have a consistent surface to sleep on. You may also want to take a family photo.
Create a sleep routine and stick to it. Wind down an hour before bed, you may want to try relaxation methods such as breathing techniques, yoga or mediation.
Meanwhile, things to avoid in the build up to bedtime include:
Caffeine or alcohol six hours before you intend to sleep.
Intense exercise within two hours of bed.
Smartphones and other screens within one hour before going to sleep.
You should maintain this routine wherever you are in the world.
Changing time zone is a significant barrier to overcome; however, it can be done. You have two options: if you will be staying in your destination for less than four days, it is best to remain on UK time. With this approach you catch up on sleep with naps, but try to ensure that your power naps are either less than 40 minutes or more than two hours.
On the other hand, if your stay will be for more than four days, start practicing for the new time zone in the days before your flight. For instance, if travelling west, start going to bed a bit later than you normally would; while if you’re travelling east, hit the sack a little earlier every night.
It is also vital to optimise your sleep at home. Do not arrange any early morning meetings on your arrival, and continue to maintain your regular bedtime wind down routine. It is also vital to ensure that you’re sleeping on the right bed.