For travellers crossing time zones, jet lag is the biggest set back but, according
to British Airways’ Sleep Doctor - Chris Idzikowski - a simple formula is all it
takes to kiss flight-induced insomnia goodnight.
Dr Idzikowski, one of the UK’s leading authorities on sleep based at the Edinburgh
Sleep Centre, was appointed by BA in 2005 to further the airline’s work to develop
the best possible night’s sleep on board for its passengers.
Jet lag occurs when the natural body clock is disrupted by crossing a number of time
zones. The symptoms can include fatigue, disorientation and an inability to sleep.
Whilst relatively harmless, jet lag can ruin the first few days of a long-awaited
holiday, and is equally problematic whether you’re travelling for business or
Dr Idzikowski explained: “The good news is that it can be fixed. The body clock is
affected by four main factors: light, sleep, exercise and food. Each of these
variables can be entered in to a Jet Lag Advisor, my version of which can be found
at ba.com/jetlag. Travellers can then work out when they should either expose
themselves to light, or when it should be avoided.
He continued: “The most important thing to bear in mind when avoiding light is
that the room must be pitch black, donning an eye mask can be the best solution. For
times when you need to expose yourself to light the best option is a natural source,
such as the sun. However, new research suggests that artificial light such as a
reading lamp or even street lighting might help.
“If these light and dark rules are obeyed there is no real reason why anyone
should suffer from jet lag.”
British Airways’ commercial director, Martin George said: “For both our business
travellers, who want to arrive ready for work, and our leisure travellers, who want
to get the most out of every minute of their holiday, jet lag is something everyone
wants to avoid.
“The jet lag advisor complements our established wellbeing programme, which is
available to all passengers, and is another step towards ensuring they get the most
out of their trip. In addition, for our business travellers we offer BA’s Club
World Sleeper Service, which enables them to eat before they board their flight to
really maximise in-flight sleep.”