Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

An expert reveals how to defeat jet-lag in two easy steps

iStock-536172369.jpg

Insomnia, an upset stomach, difficulty concentrating, nausea, anxiety and a loss of appetite: while far-flung holidays are dreamy, the impact of a long-haul flight can be far from it.

Jet lag is something that Todd Bliwise knows a little about. The luxury travel agent clocks up between 200,000 and 300,000 air miles every year, and over his globe-trotting career he reckons he’s figured out how to avoid feeling rubbish when he reaches a new destination.

According to Bliwise, who was recently profiled at Bloomberg, defeating jet-lag requires following a simple two-point plan.

asleep

Get some sleep on your flight.

Step one: help yourself to sleep

“My father is a sleep researcher, and I always bring sleeping pills on a plane,” says Bliwise. “Just be careful how you use them.”

He observes that some sleeping pills can affect you for around eight hours – so if you take one at the start of a six-hour flight, you’re going to feel discombobulated for a couple of hours after touching down. In other words, timing is key.


Read more: The world’s most luxurious hotels you can book from £9 a night


Sometimes, Bliwise says, he takes a sleeping pill “in the lounge before I board, to be as efficient as possible, and the worst thing that’s ever happened to me is I fell asleep during dessert.”

It’s relatively difficult to obtain prescription sleeping tablets in the UK, and for good reason: like all medicines, the pills can have side effects. It’s also comparatively easy to become dependent on some types of sleeping medication.

However, you can purchase mild and safe sleeping tablets, such as Nytol, over the counter in pharmacies. Herbal remedies are also often effective: valerian root, a traditional medicine used to aid sleep, is used in both Kalms Night pills and Boots’ Sleepeaze Herbal Tablets. There’s one more thing to add to your carry-on bag.

running

Outdoor exercise is an effective way of adjusting to your new surroundings.

Step two: hit the ground running

Exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing after a ten-hour flight, but Bliwise says a pair of running shoes “are as vital as the sleeping pills” in defeating jet lag.

“The greatest way to explore a new city is by running, because you cover twice as much ground as you would walking, and my father told me that one of the best things to fight off jet lag is exercise,” he tells Bloomberg.


Read more: It’s official: these are the 10 best airlines in the world


There’s plenty of research supporting the theory that exercise can help our bodies adjust to a time change and return to our normal internal body clocks, or circadian rhythm. In one study, hamsters were exposed to an artificially-created new time zone. It was found that hamsters who ran on an exercise wheel adjusted to the new time zone in just a day and a half – while those who did no exercise took more than eight days to adjust. Spending time outdoors in natural light will also help your body adjust to a new routine following a flight.

So there you have it. Consider your next holiday hacked.

Images: iStock

Related

missing-train-dream-meaning-2.jpg

Often dream about missing a plane or a train? Here’s what it means

Nomadic Tents in The Musandam Peninsula, Oman.png

These pop-up hotel tents let you sleep literally anywhere in the world

free-cheap-ryanair-flight-deals.jpg

This airline’s flights could be completely free within a decade

More

Revealed: the world’s best cities to live in

London didn't even make the top 50...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 Aug 2017

Discover an unspoilt corner of Sicily

With miles of wild, sandy beaches, a rich history and even richer cuisine, Stylist falls for south-east Sicily

by The Stylist web team
15 Aug 2017

You could rent a private Caribbean island for under £500

All your holiday dreams are about to come true

by Megan Murray
09 Aug 2017

8 Disney castles you can actually visit in real life

08 Aug 2017

Swim off Shetland's secret beaches

Wild swimming doesn't get much wilder than Scotland's shores; Stylist leaps in

by Anna Hart
08 Aug 2017

Is the ‘wanderlust gene’ the reason why you can’t stop travelling?

Some research suggests that thrill-seekers share a certain gene. But that isn’t the whole story

by Moya Crockett
04 Aug 2017

The world’s best sleeper train routes

Time to bunk up, from the UK to Europe and beyond

by Anna Brech
02 Aug 2017

This is how to find the cheapest flights on the internet

Less money spent on flights equals more money for the aperol spritz budget

by Sarah Biddlecombe
02 Aug 2017

Grab some friends and escape to a Balearic paradise

Stylist heads to a Mallorcan villa in search of sun, seclusion and stunning views

by Stylist
01 Aug 2017

Retreat to a fantasy pad in northern Cornwall

Stylist is one of the first to stay at the UK's coolest self-catering bolthole

by Susan Riley
25 Jul 2017