Traveling abroad sounds exhilarating and romantic but in reality, it’s often utterly exhausting. With out a proper mind set, you could be setting yourself up as a victim of jet lag, and will be struggling to catch up on sleep and energy your entire trip, which makes you a terrible travel companion. I went to London last Spring for four days, which is an 8 hour flight from the west coast. The flight left in the afternoon and I made the mistake of watching movies for the majority of the flight instead of forcing myself to sleep. We landed at midnight pacific standard time, 8 AM, London time. With a full work day ahead of me and not a moment of sleep, I found myself struggling to get through the day. Furthermore, I tried to straddle both timezones for work all week, resulting in a lack of a full night’s sleep the entire time I was in London. I wish I could have been more lively in London, but it was a lesson in jet lag that I will take with me in my future travels.
Alter your sleep schedule – Shift your bed time back or forward an hour or two, depending on which direction you are traveling to. Start a few days before your trip.
Hydrate – Drink lots of water the forty eight hours leading up to the flight and during the flight.
Plan to alter time zones – Plan on being on what ever timezone you are landing in the second you board the plane. So any tasks or duties that need to be done while you’re gone, try to redistribute on your new time zone.
Don’t Take Sleep Meds or Drink Alcohol – Drink water, grab a sleep mask and go to sleep! Don’t take any depressants while in flight, it will make it harder to recover from when you land.
Eat Lightly – Don’t eat a heavy meal, or snack all flight long. This is especially important if you are flying through the night and will be arriving in the morning at your destination.
Step into Time Zone Immediately – If it’s breakfast time in your new time zone, eat breakfast when you land. Adjust your day accordingly to your new time zone.
Nap by Day, Sleep At Night – If you are too tired to function or will be having a late night, don’t be afraid to take cat naps through out the day to re-energize.
Pack Melantonin – This natural supplement helps naturally alter your circadian rhythms, available at most health stores and grocery stores.
What are your jet lag survival/prevention tips?