How do flight crews beat jet lag?

23:27, Feb 28 2013
BEATIG JETLAG: Drink plenty of water during your flight.

How do flight crews beat jet lag? I put this question to a pilot once and he said: "We don't. We suffer, same as you do."

If you cross more than four time zones you can expect to feel some effects of jet lag, but if you're smart, you can lessen its effects and duration.

Some say adapt to the time difference by eating and sleeping according to the time at your destination as soon as you board your aircraft. Really?

If I get on a London-bound plane at 10am in Sydney, it's midnight according to Big Ben but no way am I going to fall asleep. Much more reasonable is to try to adapt as soon as you reach your target.

Take a walk in the sunshine to help reset your body clock and resist the urge to tumble into bed for an afternoon nap, which will probably turn into a three-hour snorathon.

Make it a vigorous walk, too - lack of exercise on your flight is one of the reasons many travellers are wide awake and exhausted at 3 o'clock the morning after they arrive. Dehydration is another contributing factor.

Drink plenty of water during your flight and if you go cold turkey when the drinks trolley tinkles past, your body will say "hallelujah".

Sleeping pills can help re-establish your circadian rhythm and some swear by melatonin, but seek professional medical advice. A morning dose of Berocca can help flush the fuzz from your brain, and that's a tip straight from the pilot's seat.


Sydney Morning Herald