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How to survive long haul flights

With my work in the role of Executive Coach I find more and more of us live with the reality that much of the working year means lots of time at airports and on planes; Ally Feiam shares with use some tips on how to survive these long haul flights…

Going from A to B isn’t as easy as it seems. Flights from Australia (especially south-east Australia; I’m looking at you, Melbourne) to pretty much anywhere in the world can sometimes take over twenty-four hours, so here are some tips to help you survive those long hauls, and arrive on foreign soil feeling refreshed.

Have A Good Night’s Sleep

An essential tip for avoiding jet lag is getting a good night’s sleep a few days leading up to the flight. Allied Pickfords offer their advice for those who don’t want to disrupt their circadian rhythms. “People often end up having slept for just a few hours before a long flight - whether it's due to pre-flight excitement or a deliberate attempt to tire yourself out so that you'll sleep through the flight. Big mistake. Last minute changes to your routine will only make it harder to adjust to new time zones, and getting a good night's sleep before your flight will leave you better equipped to cope with jet lag.” Find out more about Allied Pickfords by following them on Facebook.

Get On The Plane Sleepy

Shane Warren from Shane Warren Coaching & Counselling Services offers his advice for those who can’t manage to sleep on the plane. “Get on the plane tired. That's right, get there in a way that your natural body need for rest, meaning you will have at least a doze, if not a good sleep. As few of us can actually sleep on the plane, no matter what seat we are lucky enough to have.” Find out more about Shane Warren by following him on Facebook and Instagram.

Sleep On The Flight

If you’re flying from Melbourne to London, you’ll have time to sleep on the plane. While some try to avoid it, it’s a good idea to get some shut eye whilst in the air. Amie Skilton from What The Naturopath Said explains further. “Use good earplugs and an eye mask to block natural light if it's night time where you are headed and/or use blue blocking glasses to filter blue-wave light if you're watching a movie on the plane or working on the computer.” Find out more about What The Naturopath Said by following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol may loosen you up and help you relax in flight, but it’s a dehydrating substance that can muddle up your circadian rhythm (your body clock). Dana Rader from Gyrotonics at Energy Kinetics offers her advice. “Drink only water on the plane no alcohol, I eat only vegetarian on the plane, no sugar no junk. Do not take any supplements to help you sleep only make you more tired!” Find out more about Energy Kinetics by following them on Facebook.

Change Your Watch

If you’re travelling to a new time zone (which you most likely will be doing), it’s best to change the time on your watch, phone or whatever you use to the time zone you’re headed to. Amanda Clarke from Great Ideas explains further. “I needed to change my watch to the destination time from the moment I board the first plane and aim to eat, think and sleep in the destination time zone and never convert back or think about whether I would usually be sleeping at this time That has worked perfectly and I travel to Europe and to the US on separate trips most years without any problems.” Find out more about Great Ideas by following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Intermittent Fasting

Abby Lewtas offers her advice for keeping it together on a long haul flight. "When travelling long distances in an aeroplane you are susceptible to dehydration. To add to this much of the food has to be packaged and is unable to be served fresh, so the quality of nutrition is not that great. Dehydration and poor nutrition can contribute to that 'groggy' feeling of jetlag. When you fast during a long haul flight, drink all the water you want. Herbal tea is also another great choice. You're not burning much energy or consuming that terrible nutrition. You will find you will drink more water, feel more hydrated and not suffer jetlag when you reach your destination." Find out more about Abby Lewtas by following her on Facebook and Instagram.

Choose Comfy Clothes

David Fastuca, the Founder and CMO of Travel Locomote offers his advice for avoiding jet lag.“The day of your trip is not the appropriate time to break in a new pair of shoes or unfamiliar clothing. What you should reach out for is the “O ye faithful” – your tried-and-true get-up that has accumulated as many travel miles as you have, and feels like a second skin. The last thing you want is to be uneasy and fidgety on a 16-hour flight. If you’re meeting people at the airport and need to look respectable, pack a change of clothes for the last hour of your flight.” Find out more about Travel Locomote by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

Avoid Heavy Meds

If you’re having real trouble sleeping on planes, even with the perfect pillow, eye mask and earplugs, it’s best to avoid medication to ease you into sleep. Sleepy’s Mattresses explains further. “They may seem look a good idea at the time, but in actual fact, they are likely to worsen your jet lag and make you feel even more tired when you wake up. Some people also experience the sensation of being hungover or nauseous the next day. Try something natural instead; Valerian and Melatonin tablets are available in pharmacies and have proven to be effective without any nasty side effects!” Find out more about Sleepy’s by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

After The Flight

After the flight, it's just as important to keep yourself hydrated, refreshed and rested. Nathan Graham, the regional sales manager at Cheapflights offers his advice for post-landing. "Have a power nap when you land. Try to keep it to 20 minutes so you don’t ruin your night time sleep." Find out more about Cheapflights by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Getting good sleep on the flight is an essential to avoiding jet lag, and surviving a long haul flight. Make sure you sleep with a good quality pillow, to avoid neck pain. Before you fly, make sure you keep your body fully supported with the help of a mattress topper. Stay hydrated throughout the flight and avoid medication and alcohol. Now, locate where your nearest exit is, lift up your tray table and enjoy the rest of your flight!

Pinched from Shane Warren & Associates blog but first published at blog

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