Flights: Expert reveals how to beat jet lag on long haul holidays – tips

Flights: Jet lag is when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight (Image: Getty Images)

Flights to a far-flung destination can be very exciting indeed. However, starting the trip with your body totally off-kilter can prove a real problem. This is due to jet lag – an unpleasant side effect of globetrotting.

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Jet lag is when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight.

For some people it can take days to shake this off, potentially ruining the trip altogether.

Timeshifter is an app that promises to help users beat the condition. spoke to founder Mickey Beyer-Clausen about the best ways to fight jet lag.

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Flights: For some, jet lag can take days to shake this off, potentially ruining the trip altogether (Image: Getty Images)

He explained that the only way to knock jet lag on the head is to be very careful with light exposure.

“There is only one way backed by science [to beat jet lag],” Mickey said.

“The key to quick adaptation is timed light exposure.

“The right light exposure at the right time can significantly accelerate your adaptation to new time zones.

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“Seeing light at the wrong time will make your jet lag worse.

“If – and only if – you time light exposure correctly, the right type and dose of melatonin, at the right time, can help you shift even faster and sleep better as you are transitioning between time zones.”

Mickey advocates the use of “a credible app to help you create a highly personalised plan that takes your sleep pattern, chronotype, and full itinerary into account” – enter Timeshifter.

So how does the app work? According to Timeshifter’s website: “Timeshifter was developed with world-renowned scientists, based on the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience.”

Flights: Timeshifter was developed with world-renowned scientists (Image: Timeshifter)

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Mickey went into more detail: “Trying to work out when to prioritise light exposure, and when to avoid light is really tricky,” the app founder explained.

“The correct time changes as your body clock time changes, so you need to estimate what time it is in your brain during your travel days and when you arrive at the new destination.

“This applies to when to see light, when to avoid light, and when to take melatonin – as well as certain supporting behaviours, such as when to sleep, when you can enjoy a power nap, and when and how to use caffeine. It can quickly get very complicated.

“Timeshifter can help to time everything correctly, based on the latest in sleep and circadian neuroscience.”

Trending Flights: Mickey advises packing a good quality sleep mask and a noise reduction headset (Image: Getty Images)

According to Mickey: “[The best way to prepare for a long haul flight is to] create a jet lag plan three days prior to departure on Timeshifter.

“Although you can create a plan up until departure, creating the plan several days in advance allow you to pre-adapt, making you feel even better once you arrive.”

He also recommends opting for a window seat on the plane “so you won’t be disturbed and can lean up against the side.”

There are also some key items you should pack in your hand luggage for the flight –  a good quality sleep mask, a noise reduction headset and dark sunglasses (if you need to avoid light).