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Flying long-haul from Stansted - 8 tips to reduce the effects of jet lag   by Paula Garrett

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Stansted Airport is the UK's third busiest airport handling 24 million passengers a year flying to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The increasing number of destinations offered at Stansted airport has led to more and more travellers venturing further a field and, whether you are flying for business or pleasure, long-haul flying and jet lag often go hand in hand.

Stansted AirportJet lag occurs when the body's rhythms are out of sync with your destination time - the body operates on a 24-hour cycle, and travelling to a different time zone alters the body's natural rhythm causing jet lag. The more time zones you cross the worse it can be - travelling east has a greater affect on jet lag than travelling west. It is easier on the body's biorhythms to add a few extra hours to the day, as in travelling west, than reducing the number of hours in a day when travelling east. The speed with which your body can realign itself to your new time zone, adjusting its body rhythm to daylight, darkness, eating and sleeping in the new time zone, affects the length of time you experience jet lag for.

Jet lag can cause any or all of the following symptoms:

- Fatigue and lethargy 
- Insomnia
- Disorientation 
- Swollen hands and feet 
- Headaches 
- Digestive problems
- Irritability or anxiety 
- Lack of concentration 
- Loss of appetite and nausea 
- Dehydration.

It is often thought that it takes a day to recover for each time zone travelled through- this is great news for travellers on a week's holiday or a business traveller on a three day conference halfway across the world!
Stansted Airport Terminal, Stansted, Essex, England, United Kingdom
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So what can you do to minimise the affects of jet lag? The following tips are designed to help you avoid the worst of jet lag and realign your body clock as soon as possible.

1. Drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Water is best but, if you find drinking large amounts of water difficult or just plain boring, fruit juice and herbal teas will do. 

2. If you are due to land in the morning at your destination, try to sleep during the flight. Sleeping on board a plane in cramped conditions isn't easy but take off your shoes and try to get comfortable. An eye mask and ear plugs with help block out cabin distractions and a blow up neck rest should add to your comfort. Even if you are unable to sleep throughout the flight, just try to rest, close your eyes and try to 'switch off'. 

3. If you are due to land at night, try to stay awake throughout the flight. Read a book, listen to some music but try to resist sleeping as this will mean you will be unable to sleep destination time and take longer for your body clock to adjust. 

4. Set your watch to your destination time as soon as you get on the plane and try to live by it straight away. Try to eat at times appropriate to your destination time not departure time. 

5. Some people reduce the impact of time zone changes by gradually adapting their routine by an hour or so a few days before they travel. By getting up an hour earlier or staying up later for a few days prior to departure depending on their destination time. 

6. If you arrive in the daytime, try to avoid the temptation to sleep, get outside in the sunshine - daylight, or any light, is a major factor in resetting your internal clock. If you are exhausted and have to sleep try to limit a nap to one hour - set an alarm clock or your mobile phone to wake you. 

7. If you arrive at night and don't feel sleepy, try a warm bath and a glass of warm milk - a natural sleep inducer. 

8. Resist the urge to party all night for the first couple days and get a couple of good night's sleep. This should help you adjust your body clock to your destination time and make for a more enjoyable stay.

There is no miracle cure for jet lag, but by following the above tips you should minimise its effects.

Featured Stansted Hotels


About the Author - Paula Garrett is a contributor to the Stansted airport information website which offers up-to-date travel information, advice and further health tips for air travellers.


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Hilton London Stansted Airport Hotel
Set within the perimeter of the Airport, the Hilton Stansted Airport Hotel is 10 minutes drive from the London Stansted Airport. This property is 5 kilometres from the market town of Bishop's Stortford and 48 kilometres from the city centre.  This property boasts elegantly appointed and modern guestrooms that are equipped with all the essential amenities to ensure you utmost ease and luxury.  The Amy's Restaurant offers delicious international and vegetarian cuisine for you to feast on. You can also enjoy some mouth-watering snacks as well as a fine drink at the Caffe Cino.  Recreational facilities such as the gymnasium, jacuzzi or the swimming pool can be utilised to enhance your physical and mental well-being.
Holiday Inn Express London Stansted Airport
Situated near the airport, this Stansted hotel is also close to Mountfitchet Castle. Another local attraction is Audley End House. Dining options at Holiday Inn Express London Stansted Airport include a restaurant. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. This 3.0-star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment, and business services. Wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas (surcharges apply). The property offers an airport shuttle (surcharge). Guest parking is available for a surcharge. Additional property amenities include multilingual staff, gift shops/newsstands, and laundry facilities. 
Radisson BLU London Stansted Airport
Conveniently located within walking distance from the railway and coach stations, this property is just a 2-minute walk from the fastest growing airport in the UK and provides direct links to Central London and the surrounding areas.  The 500 stylish bedrooms offered by the hotel are themed in 3 unique styles and offer superb views of the airport and runway. All the rooms are comfortable and come with a host of modern amenities to make your stay a memorable one.  The hotel offers four individually designed restaurants, serving Italian, Spanish and American cuisine, for your dining pleasure. The food is accompanied by some of your favourite Spanish wines as well as selected wines from some small and newly discovered vineyards.
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