How To Get Over Jet Lag From England To Australia In 10 Steps

After flying all over the world, I’ve finally cracked it… I’ve learnt how to get over jet lag from England to Australia!

You might know that you’re more likely to get away without getting jet lag when you fly from Australia to England but coming back is usually a nightmare. It normally takes me about a week to get over it, but this time I did a few things differently. I didn’t get any jet lag when flying into London and then back into Sydney.

This post is also great if you’re wondering how to fall asleep on a plane as well because I don’t mean to brag, but I basically slept the entire way!

FYI – You’ll more than likely only feel jet lagged coming to Australia not going back home


Crazy right? It’s the same distance so why do we feel it more when flying east from England to Australia?

Flying west to east is actually known to intensify the body’s internal clock and increase jet lag symptoms. Our body clock works on a 24-hour circadian rhythm that becomes disjointed when it passes over multiple time zones. When we land in Australia, we actually lose 9-11 hours despite our body clocks continuing to move forward.

When flying from Australia to England, we gain hours. This gives our bodies more time to relax in the new time zone and readjust the circadian rhythm. It is easier for our internal clock to play catch up with extra time than to readjust after essentially losing half a day.

I know jet lag symptoms are different for everybody and you may be fine travelling in either direction (lucky you!), But, if you travelling to Australia and want to get out and enjoy the beach and water without jet lag then we’ve got you.

Here’s how you can avoid jet lag when flying between England and Australia.

1. Buy Phenergan or a herbal supplement


I had no idea what Phenergan was either until my hairdresser Stevie English told me about it. This is his trick for his entire family to skip the jet lag symptoms when flying between England and Australia. They are not sleeping pills, it’s an anti-histamine if you were wondering. When I asked for it over the counter, the first thing they asked was Are you flying long distance?”. It looks as though Phenergan must be a common thing to take on long-haul flights.

The choice is between getting the 10mg or 25mg tablets. However, they would only sell me the 10mg’s because they said the 25mg would make me feel hungover.

Truth be told, I didn’t need the 25mg in the end.

My flight from London – Sydney took place at the following times:

London Heathrow: 9:30pm – arrive into Kulaa Lumper at 6:00pm (13.5 hour flight)

Kuala Lumper: 4:00am (flight was delayed) – Sydney 12:00pm (8 hour flight).

My plan was to sleep as much as I honestly could throughout both flights because arriving at 12pm on a Friday afternoon in Sydney was technically 3am UK time.

When you board the plane, the pilot usually tells everyone what the local time is. Set your watch straight away so you can try and adapt to the hours as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than going on about how it’s like 5am your time right now. It doesn’t help anyone.

On the first flight, I watched one movie and then fell asleep for a solid 9 hours. This was purely because I took a Phenergan tablet about 30 minutes before I fell asleep. Interestingly I didn’t take one on the way to England and kept waking up every hour or so.

When I arrived into Kuala Lumper, I stayed awake the entire time while I sat there pondering about whether I should have made the effort to go out and explore the city.

The second flight was delayed by three hours at 4am. It psychologically made me feel like it was really late and should be going to sleep. After the inflight meal, I took another Phenergan and I passed out not long afterwards. When I woke up 5 hours later, we were landing in an hour or so.

The following day after we arrived, I took another Phenergan to ensure I slept through the night and it worked. That my friends was how I beat jet lag. But the following factors definitely contributed to not waking up once in the night when I arrived back in Australia.

Side effects of Phenergan
I can’t say I woke up feeling amazing but I was just glad I slept. It’s the sort of tablet you only want to take when flying, not regularly as it will make you feel like crap if you take it more than you need to. Always check with your doctor before you take this tablet if you are worried about it.

Otherwise I would recommend checking out melatonin as a herbal supplement to calm the nerves and help you sleep on flights.

2. Think about travel times

In my personal opinion, it is best to arrive early afternoon or evening in Australia as this reduced my jet lag symptoms massively. There is actually a scientific reason behind this.

Your internal clock is naturally suited to a day-night cycle. When you fly from England to Australia, you will have travelled around 24 hours, then go forward in time by 9-11 hours. Your body clock will adapt easily to a night schedule, rather than shocking the body into another full day ahead.

When landing early evening, you can relax for a few hours, go out for dinner and then hit the hay at your normal bedtime in your new time zone. Asking your body to stay awake for a few more hours rather than another 12-hour day is a far easier feat when your internal clock is disorientated.

3. Buy a decent travel pillow


Something I have tried to get right for years is investing in a decent travel pillow. Trust me, we’ve tried loads of them but when we bought this travel pillow, it has literally changed our world! We’ve literally had it for 5 years and take it on all flights now.

It’s got a decent cushioning to it, a strap that clicks in so it supports your neck and best of all, it actually makes you want to sleep when you put it on. Maybe it’s something to do with the cushioning but it works.

Turn the pillow around to support your chin as well.

We also read on this blog a little trick to turn your travel pillow around so that the neck rest actually supports your chin. This is a genius idea because it really does work. I tend to alternate mine throughout the flight which works a treat.

I also use this eye mask and these ear plugs every time I fly. Trust me, you’ll need them when all you want to do is sleep for as long as possible on the flight.

4. Bring some noise cancelling headphones with you


Steve bought these Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones and swears by them. When you’re on a long haul flight and you get given headphones for the entertainment. The downside is I’ve been on loads of flights where I can’t even hear the movie at all because the headphones have been so terrible. I then totally regret not investing in a decent pair.

5. Pick your seat near the back of the plane


When you check in online, you get the option to choose your seat. If you have to pay extra for this service, when you drop your bags off, ask the person on the counter if you can move seats. It’s worked for me every time.

I have a bit of OCD about sitting on the right-hand side of the plane next to the window. The window seat gives you that extra headrest support to fall asleep and for me, it generally feels like I have more room.

The key is to get a seat towards the back of the plane because they tend to block out a couple of rows at the back if the plane isn’t full. This means you have more of a chance to change seats and potentially get a whole row to yourself. Always ask the cabin crew before the flight leaves if there are any other seats available, try and make up some story about why you need to get more sleep on the plane.

Also, by being at the back of the plane, the line for the toilets never seems as bad. If you need to get any extra snacks or drinks, it’s easy to get them from the cabin crew too. You’re welcome.

If you suffer from claustrophobia when flying, I find that it doesn’t feel as cramped in at the back of the plane either.

6. Take your own water bottle onto the plane


I bought this brilliant water bottle a while back from Amazon and I take it everywhere with me. It’s especially good if you live in Australia as it keeps your water cold all day long, no matter how hot it is outside.

Take it with you in your hand luggage because there are always water stations once you walk through customs, usually located near the toilets.

Make sure you fill your water up so that you don’t need to go out of your way to ask for water on the flight. It’s free too so you won’t need to spend a fortune on it at the airport. Makes me think back to being in LAX airport and we had to pay $15 for a bottle of water and a bottle of orange juice – crazy!

Drink plenty on the flight as dehydration can increase jet lag symptoms like headaches and tiredness. Stay hydrated even if you are trying to sleep the whole way.

7. Take a short nap when you land into Sydney

If you’re feeling totally exhausted when you land in Sydney, I recommend taking a short nap, for 1 hour tops. This will help you get through to the evening and try and get yourself back on the same time zone. Don’t sleep any longer than an hour as you could end up being up all night.

7. Stay in a hotel when you land in Sydney (even if you live here)


After around 24 hours on a cramped plane chair (not talking to you lucky first-class people here), the best thing you can do is treat yourself to a little bit of luxury. Check out our guide for the Best Hotels In Sydney CBD to help you find the most convenient to help you transition between time zones.

Firstly, that post-flight shower is incredible and necessary to cure jet lag. It can refresh your body and mind to adjust to your new time zone and schedule.

Secondly, uninterrupted sleep is what your body will be craving. With the constant distractions on a flight and the odd meal times, you need to let your internal clock rest and reset with a good sleep.

You will feel like a new human, ready to tackle your day after a peaceful hotel stay.

9. Have some drinks on your first night back


When I woke up after my nap, we got ready to go out for dinner. Because we were staying in the middle of Sydney, we made the effort to got out and the night actually turned into drinks so we didn’t actually get in until 1am. How I did this, I don’t know but it worked a treat.

The key is, wait until the evening to have the drinks. Don’t go straight to the pub if you land in the morning or in the middle of the day as you’ll probably crash a lot sooner than you think. And don’t drink on the plane. While it might seem like a good idea to spend your flight time, you’ll feel bloomin’ awful when you land.

Check out our Best British Pubs In Sydney guide if you’re feeling a bit homesick after you land. Hopefully these pubs might help you get over jet lag a little.

The next day I felt like I was back on Sydney time and just took one phenergan before I went to bed and slept the whole way through.

10. Order yourself a Sun alarm clock


A sun alarm clock will help you get back to the right time zone. The clock aligns itself to the sun and will encourage your circadian rhythm to do the same. Plus, it’s way better than hearing that dreaded Apple alarm clock.

A clear landing to cure jet lag

I understand that not everyone can have the luxury of staying in Sydney accommodation or enjoying a few drinks, especially if you’re travelling with kids and have responsibilities to juggle. However, there’s a valuable alternative worth exploring – consider trying Phenergan and investing in that fantastic travel pillow. These simple solutions may hold the key to steering clear of jet lag altogether!

Phenergan can seriously make your journey significantly more comfortable. Coupled with drinking water, getting your flight times right and blocking out everyone with earplugs and a sleep mask, you’ll fall asleep in no time.

While not every jet lag hack is for everyone, I do feel like these were a game-changer for me!

Read more of our Sydney posts below!


45 Best Sydney Tourist Attractions To Put On Your List

Where to Live in Sydney

Sydney vs London

How to beat jet lag from England to Australia

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  1. Hi Annie. The best way I deal with jet lag is to land in Brisbane in the early evening. Then I can go to bed and go to sleep at a reasonable time. If I land in the early morning from a long haul flight it will take me days to recover as I will go to sleep early and wake at 2am. I have been travelling back and forwards to Australia for over 42 years and this is the only way it works for me. Otherwise it would be a stopover on the way to break the long flight.

  2. Thanks for the great tips! I’ve never taken phenergan for jet lag but a little hesitant as we have an 8 and 10 year old with us and am worried mum and dad will be totally zonked and not wake up if the kids do wake and need something during flight (I have melatonin for them). Would be keen to know if others take phenergan when they have kids with them. Does it totally knock you out?

  3. Just like to say, try the phernergan before you use it on the plane. I used to fly with my young son regularly from Perth to Sydney , always took the red eye ( as he was always a good sleeper & this was his natural sleep time, he’d sleep for the whole 5 hour trip). Then his little brother was born, so I was to do the trip alone with 2 kids under two. Someone suggested trying kids phernergan to guarantee the oldest boy sleeping through & I’d only have to deal with a fussing new born. Unfortunately the perfect traveller who’d slept every prior trip went hyper…….he didn’t sleep the whole trip nor for half the next day! So just a warning in some people it has the opposite effect.

  4. Phenergan is also a brilliant medication to prevent seasickness. I’ve used it crossing the North Sea and the Drake Passage. My travel doctor told me this is the medication frequently used by astronauts for motion sickness.

  5. Phenergan is also a brilliant medication to prevent seasickness. I’ve used it crossing the North Sea and the Drake Passage. My travel doctor told me this is the medication frequently used by astronauts for motion sickness.

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