Wellness has become an essential part of the travel experience as guests today look for ways to integrate their daily self-care routine while away from home. The rise in popularity for wellness travel is in response to our growing desire to adopt a wellness dominant lifestyle, and means many hotels are incorporating wellness into their design, amenities, services, and programming. Features such as bedding and lighting that promote better sleep, windows and shades that block out light and noise, in-room fitness equipment and videos, healthy snacks and more are now readily available to make traveling a rounded experience.
An important aspect of maintaining wellbeing whilst traveling involves overcoming jetlag. If you’re going on a business trip where you need to perform at your meeting, taking a restful family vacation or competing in a big tournament whilst you’re traveling across multiple time zones, you probably know how much jet lag can drag you down and ruin your level of engagement, performance and the fun you were hoping for.
As jetsetters, you might have heard this advice:
- Drink lots of water during your flight to keep yourself hydrated
- Wear comfortable clothes, a neck pillow, earplugs or noise canceling headphones, and shades or eye-covers on the plane.
These reduce jet lag, but we all realize we need more than just a few hours of less-disturbed sleep on the plane. Then what do we need to know in order to defeat jet lag?
As a brand routed in wellness, Westin Hotels & Resorts empowers their guests to prioritize wellbeing with programs that center on the brand’s six pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well.
As the travel and wellness experts, hereere are their top tips for beating jetlag!
What is Jetlag?
Jet lag is, by definition, a mismatch between your natural 24-hour sleep/wake cycle and the actual time at the destination. We have internal body clocks that command when to go to sleep and when to wake up. When your body and brain command certain activities while the environment tells you to do the opposite, jet lag kicks in.
Get in sync!
So, in order to eliminate jet lag, we need to sync our body clocks to the new time zone. And here is how you can prevent or reduce jet lag by gradually shifting your sleep schedule days before the flight and during your travel stay.
1. Use light as your secret weapon
Use light as your secret weapon.
Getting light at certain times is the most effective way to fight jetlag. Using light will naturally enable you to go to bed and wake up 1-hour earlier every day without difficulty, up to 1 hour daily.
First, Figure out if you are flying East or West.
- For Eastbound travel: Get lots of sunlight in the morning upon waking and avoid lights at night near bedtime (try dimming your computer or TV screen).
- For Westbound travel: Avoid sunlight in the morning upon waking and be near bright lights at night near bedtime (try increasing brightness on your computer or TV screen and turn on lights around you). This is counterintuitive, we know.
2. Go to sleep earlier or later a few days before you go
You should commit to sleeping earlier and waking up earlier so you can adjust to the time zone of where you’re flying. By shifting your body clock a few days before you go to start adjusting so you can get a head start before you get there. This will relieve jetlag.
First, figure out if you’re flying East or West.
For Eastbound Travel:
• Start going to bed earlier a few days before you go.
• Wake up earlier too (get your regular sleep amount)
For Westbound Travel:
• Start going to bed later a few days before you go.
• Take naps if you still need to wake up early during the days.
• Wear sunglasses when you get there, in the mornings. Take them off in the afternoon, and wean yourself off them by taking them off earlier each day.
• Don’t just jump out of the plane to go outside for sunlight upon landing in your destination if you haven’t adjusted. This is one of the common mistakes many travelers do.
3. Figure how much syncing you need and what’s realistic
Calculate the number of time zones crossed and this equals the number of hours you need to adjust your body clock. If it’s 7 hours, just know there will be some jetlag unless you plan on sleeping in the midafternoon before you go.
4. Take power naps if you’re tired, but be disciplined
If you’re tired, take 25-minute naps but will yourself to wake up until nighttime. This will help you adjust quicker.
So, play smart to reset your natural sleep clock, not just your watch when you travel, to win against jet lag.
This October and November, Westin Hotels & Resorts in the UAE are making it easier for travelers to prioritize wellness inside five rejuvenating pop up retreats from October 10 to November 24 2019. To find out more about the Westin Wellness Domes and their locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi visit www.wellnessbywestin.com