(in the air) Night flights, American meds, clever headphones and some PMA: How to beat jet lag by the pros in the know

Travelling is fun, and those of us lucky enough to get to see the world in the name of work rarely expect any sympathy, but it can take its toll, especially when you're expected to touch down and immediately crack on with non-stop schedules or demanding clients.

There's no way to banish jet lag completely but there ARE ways to minimise the effects, and here are seven good'uns, as tried and tested by my favourite frequent flyers and I... 

Sometimes even a nice hat can't hide a jet-lagged face

Sometimes even a nice hat can't hide a jet-lagged face

1. GOING EAST? GO SWIMMING

My friend JO MILLOY, VICTORIA BECKHAM'S PUBLICIST spends her life in the sky and says: "After 20 years of travelling the world jet lag is still the absolute worst part of my job. Asia is the real killer: a 13 hour flight and massive time difference, it is truly exhausting. I always try and take night flights and luckily I sleep well on planes so I wake up in the new time zone with my mind set on the day ahead. In addition, I swim, whenever I can as soon as I arrive, whether that's before bed or first thing in the morning. I find it helps invigorate my mind and body if that's what I need, equally it relaxes and helps me unwind when I need to sleep."

Jo Milloy's commute is a little different to most. But even private jets can't fix long haul fatigue 

Jo Milloy's commute is a little different to most. But even private jets can't fix long haul fatigue 

2. GOING WEST? GO OUT

Many years of visiting New York and LA have taught me to do whatever it takes to stay up as late as I can once I arrive. Cocktails and dancing are generally the cure for most things in my eyes, but in this case they really do work as motivation. And a (mini) hangover will help you ignore your body clock and stay asleep longer the morning after. NB this strategy assumes you are holidaying rather than working, or are very well trained in hangovers.

Working on my hangover 40,000 feet in the air at the Emirates bar

Working on my hangover 40,000 feet in the air at the Emirates bar

3. PACK YOUR TRAINERS

The best jet lag advice I have been given is to force myself out of bed and do some exercise if I need to be wide awake for a big day ahead. I met ERIN WOODWARD, TRAVEL PR AND GIRLY BOOK CLUB FOUNDER on a work trip to Florence where she had landed from Asia just a few hours earlier. The Canadian takes her trainers everywhere and always goes for a run outside on the first day in a new locale. Now I try to do the same. She's right, it's a great way to get into the time zone and lift your energy levels as well as a brilliant way to see a new place AND burn off that plane food.

Travel PR Erin Woodward takes her trainers everywhere, from the South of France...

Travel PR Erin Woodward takes her trainers everywhere, from the South of France...

...to the Swiss Alps.  pics: instagram/girlybookclub

...to the Swiss Alps.  pics: instagram/girlybookclub

4. GET INTO THE TIME ZONE ASAP

Change your watch and mindset as soon as you get on the plane, says JONATHAN KIRKBY, FOUNDER OF INSTINCT PR who spends his time between London and Miami. He told me: "Put yourself on the new time zone before take off and commit to it. Change your watch and don't EVER talk about the time in your home country. It's all about positive mental attitude. Failing that I always travel with melatonin and an eye mask."

PR man Jonathan Kirkby is not actually a pilot, but he does know a lot about flying

PR man Jonathan Kirkby is not actually a pilot, but he does know a lot about flying

5. STOCK UP ON U.S. MEDS

Another melatonin fan is CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER AUSTIN HARGRAVE, a British boy living in LA who spends his life travelling across the States and the pond shooting megastars for publications like Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter.

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleeping and so can help fool your body into thinking it's nap time when it really doesn't want to sleep. It's only available in supplement form on prescription in the UK but is widely available in the States. 

Austin says: "I am a firm believer in sleep so it's really difficult when travel gets in the way. I don't like to take the heavy stuff but I do recommend magnesium and melatonin which help me get to sleep whenever I finally get the chance to do so, even if it's at an odd hour. 

"And I try to stay awake until an appropriate bedtime hour. Sometimes it's just the appropriate bedtime hour for a five-year-old, but it's best not to sleep in the middle of the day or you'll be screwed for the rest of your trip."

LA photographer Austin Hargrave on set with Benedict Cumberbatch in London

LA photographer Austin Hargrave on set with Benedict Cumberbatch in London

6. IF YOU'RE ON A NIGHT FLIGHT, SLEEP!

Another jet-setting CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER, DAN KENNEDY knows he will be busy from the moment he lands when travelling for work so tries to grab as much sleep on the flight as possible using ear plugs, an eye mask and noise-cancelling headphones to maximise his snoozing chances.

He says: "I try to ignore the movie and food menus and get my head down as quickly as possible, often asleep before we even take off if it's a night flight. My Bose headphones are a lifesaver - brilliant for drowning out the noise of the plane and its passengers - and I'll sometimes listen to meditation podcasts to get me into a state of calm as quickly as possible."

Dan Kennedy uses flights to sleep ahead of busy location shoots with stars like Millie Mackintosh pic: instagram/dankennedyphoto

Dan Kennedy uses flights to sleep ahead of busy location shoots with stars like Millie Mackintosh

pic: instagram/dankennedyphoto

The busy photographer uses meditation podcasts and noise-cancelling headphones to get some shuteye pic: instagram/dankennedyphoto

The busy photographer uses meditation podcasts and noise-cancelling headphones to get some shuteye

pic: instagram/dankennedyphoto

7. DON'T FIGHT IT

If you're on a very short trip (and your schedule allows it) then sometimes it's not worth battling the lag and instead just going with the flow. Because there's nothing worse than lying in bed and not being able to sleep. Especially when you are in a new part of the world with so much to see and do. 

Going east this means staying up late and hitting the night markets, getting tables at the best restaurants because you're eating after 10pm and possibly rediscovering your inner disco queen at some local hot spots. Going west this means waking up before dawn and treating yourself to two breakfasts, exploring a city as it wakes and squeezing in some fitness before everyone else arrives and spoils the fun.
 

Embracing the jet lag in Bangkok with a midnight tuk tuk ride

Embracing the jet lag in Bangkok with a midnight tuk tuk ride

Enjoying some mid-flight peace thanks to the magic Bose noise-cancelling headphones

Enjoying some mid-flight peace thanks to the magic Bose noise-cancelling headphones