There’s nothing worse than going on holiday only to be plagued by sudden 3am wake-ups, the urgent need to nap, or the sleepy sluggishness of jet lag.
While there’s a whole host of tricks for helping your body to adjust, a new study has found there’s one simple way to skip the jet lag altogether – eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on a normal schedule.
It sounds simple, but according to study author and researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Surrey, Cristina Ruscitto, eating is related to the circadian rhythms of our body.
“[The idea is] that you readjust by eating in line with local time ― not just sleeping on local time,” she explains.
“Eating regularly provides information to the circadian system, telling the body to be active.”
The study split 60 airplane crew into two groups, with each member working on a flight with a time change of at least four hours.
Group one was told to eat their three daily meals on a regular schedule for two days after they landed, while group two were allowed to eat however they wanted over the same time period.
Although both groups reported feeling the same level of alertness, group one found they felt much less jet lagged than the other group.
“Plan to eat regularly (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from day one when you are back home,” advises Cristina.