No matter how much you travel, jet lag can be a challenge. Your internal clock is thrown off, so instead of wanting to explore a new port, you may feel sluggish, lethargic, and ready for bed. Crossing time zones without crawling under the covers early requires tough resolve, but we have seven tips to help you get over jet lag more quickly.
Book your flight thoughtfully.
We suggest choosing your flight time based on jet lag concerns. For example, if you’re flying east to catch a Mediterranean cruise, select a flight that departs in the late evening rather than one that leaves in the afternoon. That way, you’ll be more likely to sleep on the plane and avoid jet lag altogether.
Sleep well the night before your flight.
To get your body ready for what will inevitably be an exhausting 48 hours, make sure you’re well rested so you’ll be better able to handle the stress.
If you have an overnight flight, make falling asleep in flight as easy as possible. Pack earplugs, an eye mask, a travel pillow, and your most snooze-worthy book to ensure you’ll get some shut-eye.
Although it may seem like the best idea at the time, napping in the middle of the day will only further confuse your internal clock. Once you arrive at your destination, try your best to stay awake throughout the day, even if that means sticking to low-energy activities and going to sleep earlier in the evening than you would at home.
You know what’s worse than jet lag? Jet lag coupled with dehydration. Consider avoiding alcohol — both in flight and once you land — because it can drain your body of fluids. Drink plenty of water to replenish your systems.
Bask in the sunshine during daylight hours.
Your body responds to natural sunlight, helping you stay awake even if your internal clock is telling you it’s bedtime. Lying in bed with the curtains drawn will only make your jet lag worse — and will inevitably cause you to fall asleep — so take a walk outdoors instead.
Avoid prescription sleep aids.
Eventually, your body will adjust to the new time zone naturally. Trying to force the process with sleeping pills once you land is not likely to make the transition any faster — you’ll just wake up feeling groggy. If you really can’t get over jet lag without help, consider taking melatonin, a natural sleep aid you can purchase over the counter, instead of a prescription medication.