The Earth has a diameter of 7,917.5 miles and 24 different time zones. When you charter a business jet all over the world or even just across the country, the jet lag from quickly traveling across different time zones causes a disruption in your circadian rhythm. For most people, it takes about a day to recover from each time zone crossed. By preparing for the new time zone during your flight, you’ll minimize the effects of jet lag and feel more adjusted when you arrive at your destination.
1. Adjust Your Watch and Strategically Sleep
Adjust your watch when you get on the plane so it reflects the time at your destination, and ask the flight attendant to adjust the clocks on the private aircraft. Knowing the time at your destination will help your mind and body prepare for the change.
Try to sleep during your destination’s nighttime hours. If you have a flight to Sydney, Australia, from a Bay Area FBO at 5:00 p.m., for example, the local time at your destination is noon the next day. To beat jet lag, spend the second half of the flight sleeping, as you’ll arrive during the night.
2. Therapeutic Lighting
Your eyes have a big role in your natural sleep cycle. The retinas detect the type of light around you and send messages to your brain. Depending on the wavelengths in the light, your brain produces serotonin (which makes you alert) or converts serotonin to melatonin (which helps you sleep).
As you prepare to sleep during a flight, ask the flight attendants to dim the cabin lighting and draw the shades, even if the sun is high in the sky. The best types of lights to use when trying to sleep are those that emit red or orange wavelengths. If the cabin is too bright, consider using a sleep mask to help you sleep.
If it’s daytime at your destination and part of your flight is during the night, outfit your private plane with therapeutic lights that emit short blue or white wavelengths. These lights emit similar wavelengths as the sun, minus the UV rays, which will help your brain know that it’s time to be awake. When flying east, opening the shade during the day also helps.
During long flights, opt for bottled water and sports drinks instead of alcohol and caffeine. While caffeine and alcohol are some of the most popular comforts of traveling in a private jet, they dehydrate the body because of their diuretic effects, which makes jet lag worse.
The relative humidity in an airplane’s cabin is usually 30 percent or less. This type of environment is taxing on the body during a long flight, so it’s necessary to drink more water to stave off the fogginess, headaches, lethargy and sluggishness associated with jet lag.
4. Eat Smaller Meals
Rather than eat large meals a couple times during a private flight, opt for frequent smaller meals with foods that are simple to digest. Not only will this help your stomach at high altitudes, it will also help your body adjust to mealtimes at your destination.
5. Make a Schedule for When You Land
If you’re off to a meeting when you land at your destination’s FBO, have plans for the evening. When you give yourself a day to adjust to the time change and your flight arrives during the day, plan to shower at the hotel and meet with friends, sightsee, go for a walk or anything else that keeps you stay busy until nighttime. If you feel as if you need a nap to recover lost sleep, limit it to 45 minutes so you don’t have difficulties falling asleep at night.
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