Jet lag. The reality of jet lag is that it can put a damper on a vacation, stunt your productivity on a business trip and disrupt your sleep for days beyond the end of your travels. Take pro-active measures to avoid the worst of jet lag and get the most out of your journey.
- 1. Start at home. Several days before your trip begin adjusting your sleeping and eating schedule to match the times at your destination. When you arrive simply stick with the local time with no problem.
- 2. Water. Water. Water. Drink at least eight ounces of water for every hour you will be in the air. Additionally, skip the in-flight cocktails. Alcohol dehydrates and interrupts normal sleep patterns. Avoiding caffeine the day before and during your flight can help you maintain normal sleep patterns as well.
3. Book an overnight flight. This tip holds especially true if you are traveling west to east. If you can swing it, use your frequent flyer miles to book a seat on business or first class. If you opt to use a sleeping pill, time it wisely. Nothing is worse that being groggy at landing. Test the pill at home not on the flight. Radio host Dennis Miller tells of an experience he had with a sleeping pill on an overseas journey. He slept just fine but was horrified upon waking up that he had taken his shirt off in his sleep!
- 4. Get outside. Once you’re at your destination try to spend time in the sun as much as possible. Sunlight will help your body adjust its internal clock much more quickly than if you stay indoors.
- 5. Fight the nap. Unless you arrive at a normal bedtime (for your destination – not home) resist the urge to go to sleep once you reach your accommodations. Stay up as close to a regular bedtime as you can. A long nap will only confuse your body that much more.
Jet lag is not the end of the world however, taking steps to avoid the worst of it can vastly improve your travels.