Crossing multiple time zones and potentially losing an entire night’s sleep can wreak havoc with your body clock. Jet lag sufferers can feel groggy, have a hard time focusing, and may have trouble falling asleep at local bedtime. There are a few steps you can take to reduce the impact of jet lag and get back to what you’d rather be doing.
Before your trip
- Start by choosing a flight that sets you up for success. If you arrive at your destination in the late afternoon or evening, you will be better able to avoid needing a nap.
- If you are headed west, start going to bed one hour later each night for a few nights before you leave. If you are headed east, hit the mattress one hour earlier. This may help your body clock begin to adjust more gradually.
While in transit
During your flight, change your watch to the time at your destination right away. If you are traveling through the night, try to sleep. Avoid coffee or caffeine drinks that could keep you awake.
After you arrive
- If you just can’t stay awake when you arrive, take a nap. But set your alarm so you don’t sleep for more than two hours. Ideally, stay up until 10 pm local time instead of taking a nap.
- Get out in the sunlight. Daylight helps your body clock adjust.
- Go for a walk, but avoid strenuous exercise that could keep you awake when you do go to bed for the night.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends that you bring earplugs and eye shades to help block out noise and light while you sleep
Source: National Sleep Foundation Jet Lag and Sleep
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