Let’s start with the science. Because, before you can hope to get one over on jet lag, the scourge of the skies, you need to know what it is.
Our bodies are programmed to stay in a certain routine over a 24 hour period, ticking boxes from eating to sleeping and everything in-between. This is called your ‘circadian rhythm and, as you hop from time-zone to time-zone, your body can struggle to stick to its natural schedule.
So, if you’re a real jet-setter, you’ll soon start to feel the onset of unbearable tiredness during daylight hours, or crippling insomnia in the dead of night. According to extensive research, there is no definitive rule to estimate how severely or for how long jet lag will affect you. But there are certain steps you can take to soften the effects — and we’ve rounded them up below.
Stay hydrated with the best bottles
Plane cabins are notoriously dry. So much so that they suck all the moisture out of you and can leave you feeling like you’ve spent the last eight hours trekking across a desert rather than sitting in economy on a transatlantic flight. However you feel, it is important to keep your fluid levels up.
But wait until you’re on board to buy a bottle at your own risk. Even if the trolley does have any left, it’ll likely be sold to you and your cracked lips for an extortionate price. Instead, buy yourself a bottle and keep it topped up for when you fly.
Swell Bahamas gold marble bottle
24 bottles urban bottle
Stelton collar bottle
Keep comfy on the plane to trick your circadian rhythms
Plane seats aren’t known to be the comfiest in the world — especially if you’re flying economy. So we recommend building your own sleeping kit and taking it on board yourself.
This way, with a thick blanket, eye mask, travel pillow and special socks, you’ll be out like a light — and fresh as the morning light when you touch down at your final destinations. So, whether it’s a baby cashmere travel pillow from Loro Piana or a Ralph Lauren eye mask and blanket set, invest in the best — it’ll be the best sleep you’ve ever had at 30,000 feet.
Ralph Lauren fleece blanket and eye mask set
Flake airport socks
Loro Piana travel pillow
Block out any noise
Unless you’re chartering a private jet, you can never guarantee who your fellow passengers will be. It could be a businessman making voicenotes all the way from LA to London. It could be a tantrumming toddler experiencing their first ever ear pop. Or it could be a particularly chatty crop of flight attendants. Whoever it is, best just block them out with some noise-cancelling headphones.
Here, we rounded up the best, but our pick of these would have to be the below.
Sennheiser Momentum On-ear wireless headphones
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Hi8
Bose QuiteComfort 35
Keep an eye on the time
While sometimes it can be hard to keep track of where you are in the world — let’s be honest, all airports look the same — it’s always handy to stay on top of when you are.
Knowing what the time is where you are and how that compares to your local time is a very important part of beating jet lag. It’ll give you a sense of control that’ll stop you being swept away by spiralling circadian rhythms give your brain a chance to rationalise how you’re feeling.
Stay looking refreshed
While you have ensured that you stay hydrated, thanks to your new water bottle, your skin can suffer just as much thanks to all that recycled, dry air. So it’s always a good plan to carry-on the best in facial grooming products to rejuvenate your skin while you’re taxiing to the stand.
But remember, you can only take on liquids under 100ml. And, with that it mind, we’ve found the best travel-sized, skin-saving salves and eye creams to ensure you don’t let jet lag drag you down.
Aesop Mandarin face cream
Clinque for men moisturiser
Perricone MD Intensive Overnight moisturiser
Now see why you should give Amsterdam a second chance…