Top tips for coping with jet lag

3 Min Read | By Laura Barns

Last Modified 20 December 2022   First Added 5 June 2014

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

If you want to know how to beat jet lag, you’re asking the right people.  At Dreams we want to do everything we can to make sure you get plenty of sleep, wherever you are. And that includes providing you with an outstanding choice of comfy beds and mattresses and also giving you lots of good advice.

Jet lag is a major cause of sleep disruption, so whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, follow these top tips to make sure you stay as fit and healthy as possible throughout and after a long flight:

Adjust your body clock ahead of your travels: If you travel regularly, try moving your daily routine ahead or behind by a few hours in the days before you travel. This will make it easier to adjust to your new time zone.

Take along some sleeping aids: Pack some herbal sleep aids, to help you to sleep at the right times when you get to your destination. There are a lot of natural sleep aids on the market containing lavender, camomile and hops. Eye-masks and earplugs are also a big help but for some it’s their own pillow that ensures the dose right off.

Take it easy: Don’t push your body clock to instantly convert to a new time-zone. Put off any strenuous activities, such as extended sightseeing until the second day of your visit. If it’s a business trip, try and wangle an extra day before a conference to allow yourself time to adjust.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol: It’s so tempting to have a cup of coffee to wake yourself up after an early start and many of us celebrate the start of our holidays by having an alcoholic drink on the plane, but these are both bad ideas. Caffeine and alcohol cause dehydration, which in turn can disrupt sleep, so drink plenty of water instead.

Keep mobile wherever possible: Whilst on the plane get up and move around every now and then, especially on a long flight. This has two benefits – firstly it reduces the risk of bloodclots and secondly, it keeps your body refreshed and awake. If you desperately feel the need to sleep on the plane, then try and limit it to quick naps.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do: In other words, even if you arrive at 9am local time and feel ready for your dinner, go and have a light breakfast instead. Adjust to the local customs as quickly as possible and you will feel a lot better and cope with the time difference much more comfortably.

And when you’re back home, do the same thing: It might be tempting to snuggle down in bed all day after an overnight flight – but don’t do it! It could take days to get back to your normal hours. Instead, go and have a quick nap, setting your alarm to wake you up in a couple of hours’ time.

We hope these tips help you to sleep easier on your travels. If you’ve got any of your own ideas on how to beat jet lag, please share them with us.

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