Exotic, far-flung escapes seem like a dream come true when we book them. Until, that is, we step off the plane in paradise to find we’re bogged down by jet lag. There’s always the option of travelling some place closer, but for those with a passion for real discovery, distant lands often have the strongest allure. Unfortunately jet lag becomes more extreme the farther away we venture, and reaches a peak a few days after landing. Thankfully there are wonderful ways to help combat the effects – and all you need to do is relax and let someone pamper you...
What is jet lag?
Travel across different time zones results in disruption to our biological clock. Otherwise known as our circadian rhythm, this is linked to the cycle of light and dark; hence jet lag occurs when we encounter day and night at a different time than usual. During hours of darkness, our bodies release the hormone melatonin to induce sleep, and stop releasing this when light appears. Our internal body clock can’t adjust straight away to changes in the rhythm of melatonin release – which is why we get out of balance, both physically and emotionally.
Quality sleep is a vital recovery factor and travellers who experience insomnia will be delighted to learn that the best ways to sleep well are the most sensual. Aromatic herbs known for their calming and balancing qualities can be found in luxurious oil blends for bath rituals and massages – which Anantara Spas combine in specialist jet lag packages. Helping weary travellers fall easily to sleep, Anantara’s turndown service includes essential oils burned in guest bedrooms, such as lavender to calm the nervous system, release emotional stress and encourage sleep.
A touch of relief
Anantara Spas offer a range of restorative treatments that are ideal for combatting the effects of jet lag. For instance, the Milky Bath Collection includes a "Balance" blend of lavender, rosewood and cedar wood to relieve anxiety and tension, and create feelings of peace and calm. The signature Dawn Renewal package starts with a Detoxifying Green Tea Scrub to exfoliate, purify and nourish skin, at the same time encouraging healthy blood circulation. Then an invigorating Jet Lag Massage employs long, kneading strokes to relieve muscle tension, particularly on the legs, lower back, neck, shoulders and around the eyes. Purpose-designed movements are enhanced by a Jet Lag Massage Oil that contains natural essential oils of bergamot, lavender, geranium and chamomile to relieve fatigue and insomnia, boost concentration and induce relaxation. Even better news, many spas invite guests to book late night appointments, making it even easier to fall into a long, deep sleep.
Call upon a Slumber Guru
Taking the importance of a good night’s rest to a whole new level, guests of Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives can call up on the resort’s dedicated Slumber Guru for a special pre-bedtime ritual. The experience begins with an early evening meal, before the Villa Host escorts guests back to their private villa for a relaxing massage with ylang ylang or lavender essential oils. Guests are left alone to soak in warm milky bath to soothing music in a candlelit bathroom. Infused herbal tea or Italian Eraclea hot chocolate is served with homemade cookies. Sweet dreams then await in a comfortable bed that is dressed in the finest linen with each guest’s personal pillow choice, which is sprayed with a soothing mist, accompanied by a lavender silk eye mask and ear plugs, making drifting away to the land of nod a blissfully easy experience.