How to Avoid Jet Lag
Ten Tips to Help You Avoid Jet Lag
Here are a few tips to help you avoid jet lag, and prevent it from ruining the first few days of your next vacation or business trip:
Adjust your bedtime by a hour a day, a few days before your trip. Change your sleep pattern to match the schedule you will keep at your destination. This will help you avoid jet lag during your trip.
Resetting your watch at the beginning of your flight may help you adjust more quickly to the time zone you will be visiting.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight. The air on planes is extremely dry, and some experts believe that dehydration is a leading cause of jet lag. Virtually everyone agrees that dehydration can make jet lag worse.
Avoid drinking alcohol or anything with caffeine during your flight. (That includes many soft drinks as well as coffee or tea.) Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration.
Sleep on the plane if it is nighttime at your destination. Use earplugs, headphones, eye masks or other sleep aids to help block out noise and light, and a travel pillow to make yourself more comfortable so you can sleep.
Stay awake during your flight if it is daytime at your destination. Read, talk with other passengers, watch the movie, or walk the aisles to avoid sleeping at the wrong time.
Exercise as much as you can on the flight, but review the two preceeding tips. If you need to sleep to match nighttime at your destination, do that.
Try these in-flight exercises:
Stretch your back, arms and leg muscles
Walk up and down the aisle when the seat belt sign is turned off
Squeeze a rubber ball or a pair of socks to stimulate good circulation in your hands and arms; alternate hands
While sitting in your seat, lift one knee and flex your foot for the count of 10; repeat with the other leg
Many airlines include instructions for in-flight exercises on a card or in the airlineâ€™s magazine; check the seat pocket in front of you.
Eat lightly but strategically. Some people adhere to various â€œjet lag diets,â€ but Iâ€™ve never found one that was worth the trouble it took to follow it. Still, it makes sense to eat foods that support your needs and can help you avoid unnecessary â€œjet lagâ€ conditions.
Remember that high-protein meals are likely to keep you awake, foods high in carbohydrates promote sleep, and fatty foods may make you feel sluggish.
Take supplements. Some people claim that melatonin will â€œcureâ€ jet lag by promoting sleep. Others swear by a homeopathic product called No Jet Lag.
A natural hormone produced by our bodies, Melatonin can be purchased online or at most health food stores. No Jet Lag is available online and at many retail outlets that sell travel supplies.
Relax on the first day at your destination. If you have the luxury of arriving at your destination a day or two before you have to engage in important activities that may require a lot of energy or sharp intellectual focus, why not give yourself a break and let your body adjust to the time change a little more gradually?