6 Tips To Beat Jet Lag
The Simple Way to Beat Jet Lag
Going on a vacation that takes you across time zones can be totally exciting. But the jet lag symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, fogginess, and mood swings that tend to go along with it? Not so much. Jet lag happens when your internal body clock is disrupted, and cues that normally tell your system when to wake and when to sleep—such as sunlight, temperature, and hormone levels—are out of whack for a few days.
The trick is to get your body’s time and the local time at your destination in sync as soon as possible. One easy move: A week before your flight, start shifting your bedtime earlier or later, depending on the direction you’re traveling. “If you’re heading west, and you usually go to bed at 11 p.m., turn in a half-hour later each night until your bedtime is at 11 p.m. in the time zone you’re traveling to,” suggests Margarita Rohr, MD, internist specializing in travel at NYU’s John H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health. This may not always be doable—especially if you're working right up until your trip—but even small tweaks can be helpful.
MORE:5 Ways to Stay Fit When You're Traveling
Another sync-up trick is to reset your watch and phone to match the local time at your destination as soon as you board the plane, says Rohr. This helps you mentally adjust and start thinking about making plans based on your new schedule.
MORE:The Gross Truth About Traveling
Rohr also recommends staying well hydrated during your flight—aka lots of water, no booze, and minimal caffeine—to help make the transition more seamless for your body. And consider packing melatonin supplements. Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone” because your system kicks up production of it when it’s time to score some shuteye. Taking melatonin according to the instructions on the container a half-hour before you want to go to bed can help you sleep, then wake up feeling rested, relaxed, and ready for a vacation adventure, says Rohr.
Video: How to Beat Jet Lag - Honest Travel Advice
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