#Travel140: Travel Tips via @TravelLatte

#Travel140 Travel Tips: Three Step Strategy to Conquer Jet Lag

#Travel140 Travel Tips

Ask anyone who’s taken a long-haul flight: Jet Lag is real. The struggle to find a fix is real, too, and there are as many travel tips as there are frequent fliers. Many of them are questionable, at best, but most will work to some degree for some people, some of the time.

We asked medical professionals for their advice, and to explain just what Jet Lag is. When you cross time zones faster than your body can adjust, it confuses your body. Your Circadian Rhythm gets, well, out of rhythm. Once you’ve stopped moving, it takes about a day per time zone to adjust when you are traveling west, and a day and a half when going east.

In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” What we need is an Anti-Jet Lag Strategy.

#Travel140: Travel Tips via @TravelLatte

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Like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared

Step one in fighting Jet Lag starts a few days before your trip. Adjust your sleep and eating schedules to match the times at your destination. If you’re flying east, start going to bed and getting up and hour earlier each day. Do the same thing, but make it an hour later each day if you’ll be going west. Don’t forget to adjust meal times, too.

Sleep Right, Sleep Tight

The more rested you are before you fly, the less a lack of sleep will affect you afterwards. Avoid anything you know will affect your sleep, like stress or late coffee breaks. Naps might seem like a good idea, but make sure they don’t end up keeping you awake all night.

Stay Hydrated

That’s good advice anytime, but dehydration actually intensifies Jet Lag. While you’re traveling, avoid caffeine and alcohol, which dehydrate you. Avoid heavily processed food, as well. Stick to healthy snacks and meals, and decaffeinated green tea, which can help prevent Jet Lag.

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Have you tried these Anti-Jet Lag remedies? We’d love to hear your travel tips and tricks to arrive refreshed and ready to go! You can share them in the comments, and we’ll re-post the best. Be sure to include your Twitter handle and a link to your blog, if you have one! Or click for more #Travel140!

26 comments on “#Travel140 Travel Tips: Three Step Strategy to Conquer Jet Lag

    • Thanks Shona! We don’t think of ourselves as being prone to jetlag either, but we know that doesn’t mean we’re immune to it. We usually adjust pretty well, but following these tips are a part of that. The biggest change for us was trying to adjust during the week or two before we travel. It has helped on longer trips, where the effects catch up with you after a couple of days, when the adrenaline of being in a new country has worn off. As always, thanks for your comment!

  1. Great tips. When I did a 12 hour jump forward, it took me almost two weeks to get dully adjusted to my new time zone. Deciding to take a nap at 2pm and accidentally waking up at 9pm definitely didn’t help either. I stayed up for almost 36 hours before my flight that way I could sleep through the flight and wake up close to my new time zone, but I like your first tip better. I should have started trying to adjust days before my trip.

    • We would be lying if we said we never did that. Funny how easily a “quick nap” can turn into a marathon snooze! We haven’t stayed up that long before a flight, though. That’s impressive – but does not sound fun. 😉 Although, we usually get very little sleep the night before a long flight, but that’s usually because we haven’t prepared other things – like packing! – for the trip. Thanks for your comment, and welcome to TravelLatte, Kiyoko!

  2. jet lag is aweful and some suffer more than others. It’s been a while since I travelled and changed timezones in any major way. I always found the best way to adjust as to just push yourself through the first day. DO NOT go to sleep until it is night time in your new destinaton, then you will sleep solidly and wake in the morning refreshed and your body clock will be a the correct time.

    • Truth be told, that’s been our go-to method. Only recently have we tried preparing more in advance. It does seem to help, especially on Day One in a new destination. For us, it’s harder going west, and when you arrive when your body’s ready to get up but everyone else is going to bed. That’s when the gradual adjustment seems to help the most. Thanks for reading Sally!

  3. Good tips – I hate jet lag. All that waking up at the wrong time! To avoid it on our trip from the Uk to Australia this year we stopped off on the way so we jumped only 3 time zones at a time max! Took us 3 weeks but was great!

    • That’s the way to do it! Jet lag is definitely a symptom of modern travel, where we can cross continents in a day. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should, right? We look forward to being able to take things more slowly, and explore more fully along the way. We definitely have a little travel envy going on over here! 😉 Thanks for your comment, Tracy!

  4. Jet lag is definitely a struggle and it doesn’t help when I have trouble sleeping on the plane. Like some here, it isn’t as bad going to the destination but getting home takes days to adjust back. I guess all that adrenaline and excitement being in a new place keeps us going at first. Yes, water definitely helps but I really should try your tip about adjusting a few days earlier.

    • Hi Mary – We think you’re right. The excitement seems to help adjust in a new destination, but getting back to normal at home takes a while. Sometimes, a long while! We joke about needing a vacation to recover from vacation…but that’s no joke! 😉 Thanks for your comment!

  5. I actually do the opposite of tip #2 – I find it impossible to sleep on flights, so I inevitably arrive at my destination running on fumes. It makes me sleep like a baby at the first available opportunity. It’s not terribly healthy and I really wish I could sleep on flights. Have tried sleeping pills but they only last a few hours for me. But hey I figure at least I use the flight time catching up on movies!

    • There seem to be two types of people: Some cannot sleep on a plane no matter how hard they try. Then there’s Rob, who’s asleep as soon as the plane is in the air, even in the middle of the afternoon! We pass flight time with movies, too, or a good read, or a nice writing session. When we can’t sleep on the plane, the excitement of a new destination usually keeps us going until a reasonable bed time hour. Thanks for your comment, Michelle!

  6. Thanks for sharing these tips, Rob. For me the best way to avoid the jet lag is to get some sleep on the plane. Unfortunately, most of the time that doesn’t happen because of the uncomfortable sits in coach class. Once however we have been upgraded to Business Class and we managed to sleep for 5 hours. We had no jetlag whatsoever after that. So I guess the cure for jetlag is Business Class (lol!)

    • That’s funny – but true! We save up our miles for that very reason, using them to splurge on business class for those trans-oceanic flights when we can. We definitely need a better frequent flier strategy, though, so we can do that more often! Thanks for your comment, Anda!

  7. I usually don’t get jet lag when I’m heading to the destination because I’m excited about the trip. Yeah I might feel a little tired but it won’t be the case of not being able to sleep at night or feeling very sleepy during the day. However, the jet lag kicks in when I’m back home. 2 travel tips to overcome jet lag that might help somewhat – (1) try to book a flight that lands in your destination in the late afternoon or early evening. This might not be possible every time but at least it helps you to adjust to the new time zone by going to bed at a reasonable hour just like everyone else in that city. (2) Exercise helps, be it working out at a gym or walking. Walking is the best exercise. The more we walk, the more tired we get at the end of the day, therefore helps us to sleep better 🙂 #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Good tips, Kat! We do the same, though it’s hard to find a flight from the US to Europe that lands in the afternoon. So we employ your second tip by dropping our bags off and taking a long walk around our new destination. No better way to adjust to a new city, both the climate and atmosphere, and the time zone. 🙂 Thanks for the tips, Kat!

    • Same here, although Rob is a coffee fiend and that doesn’t help. Once again, plain old water is one of the best things for us. Airplane air is always so dry, water helps with that, too. Thanks for reading, Lolo!

  8. I just moved to another country and I have been fighting jetlag for about a week now and it sucks! You are so right! “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Thanks for sharing these tips. Hopefully they will help me out.

    • Yuck! We hope they help, too! It’s amazing to us that something as simple a time change can take so long to adjust too. It’s a small price to pay for the privilege of travel, though! Thanks for reading, Victoria!

    • Congratulations to Brian! Rob is, too. They make pretty good travelers – all those years of orienteering and camping paid off. 🙂 It’s harder for us to beat the jet lag on the way home, too. Maybe the answer is right in front of us: Just keep traveling! We volunteer to test that theory. Who else is in? 🙂 Thanks for your comment, guys!

    • You’re right – adjusting schedules sounds great but is hard to put into practice. Especially when you have a busy schedule already! We have mixed luck – Ann’s a night owl anyway, so going to bed later is no problem. Rob’s an early riser, so he struggles. Let’s say it’s a work in progress. 😉 Thanks for your comment, Anisa!

  9. Need to follow your tips since jetlag is real for me. Well, I do not feel that bad when I arrived at a destination. I usually arrive early and keep going till the night. But, once I get home I feel like I was in a boxing ring. Like you mentioned, I try to rest and drink tons of water. #feetdotravel

    • We’re the same way, Ruth – It always seems to hit harder when we get home than when we’re traveling. Our theory is that we push ourselves past it on the road. By the time we’re back home, we can’t push past anymore! Thanks for reading!

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