How To Avoid Jet Lag


Jet lag makes you feel tired, disoriented and just plain lousy. It can ruin a vacation trip or a business meeting. If you are flying for an important business conference you may do better if you arrive a day early so your system can have a little time to adjust.

You can make some preparations for your trip several days before you leave home. Try matching your sleep cycle to coincide with the area where you are traveling. If you are flying east go to bed and get up earlier for at least three days prior to your trip. If you are traveling west go to bed and get up later each day.

Try to get plenty of rest the night before your trip.

You may want to sleep during your flight so you may want to take ear plugs, an eye mask and maybe an inflatable pillow. These may help make sleeping on the plane more quiet and comfortable.

You want to move around during a flight of any length to keep your blood circulating properly.

It is a good practice to avoid eating the airline food during the flight. Avoid coffee and caffeine or energy drinks and do not drink any alcoholic beverages during the flight.

Before the flight eat your regular meals and then wait to eat again as soon as you depart from the plane. Not eating on the flight can help reduce jet lag. Just be sure you stay hydrated drinking water and non caffeine beverages while in flight. Then be sure to eat as soon as you can after landing.


After your arrive at your destination avoid the urge to simply relax. Instead engage in some light exercise preferably outdoors if it is still daylight. Taking a short walk outside in daylight will remind your body it should be awake and it is not time for sleep.

While you are away try to maintain an exercise time routine similar to the time you exercise at home. That is if you normally exercise at 7 am at home then exercise at 7 am in your travel location. Keeping close to your regular time schedule helps your body adjust.

If you have trouble sleeping in your new time zone you may want to try a melatonin supplement. Melatonin controls our sleep cycle rhythm and traveling through different time zones may upset your internal clock for sleeping. You want to wait until you have arrived at your destination before you do any supplementing with melatonin.

Take between 0.5 and 3.0 mg of melatonin approximately one hour before bedtime.

Give yourself some time for your body to adjust to the change in time zones. Research indicates the human body can adjust to up to two time zones a day.

With some planning you may accomplish your travel with very little discomfort from jet lag.