When you fly across time zones, you throw your normal 24-hour body clock completely out of whack, and it’s particularly tough for long-haul travellers who fly eastwards. While some people fast before and during the flight to reduce jet lag, what you eat before and after the flight can also help.
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Ideally, you should think about what to eat at least 12 hours before your first morning in your new time zone. Have a light “final” meal and then let your blood sugars drop to mimic a night of melatonin-rich sleep without food. Then, eat protein for your brekkie to let your body know it’s on a new schedule, and this is the new normal.
What is melatonin?
When it comes to good sleep, it’s all down to brain chemistry, with tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin, being the three most important hormones. It’s melatonin that regulates the body clock and promotes restful sleep; it’s the hormone that goes haywire when you disrupt your body clock by changing time zones.
Reset the clock
While it might be tempting to push through with caffeine and then try to induce sleep with the help of the drinks trolley or bar fridge, you can help reset your body clock more effectively by eating light and healthily to keep your energy levels steady. You’re looking for meals that give you a good balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based foods. And you also want to opt for foods that will help you sleep. Click through the gallery below for the five foods which can help you fight off jet lag.