Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder. When you have jet lag, you suffer from extreme tiredness and other symptoms after you travel through several time zones. When you have jet lag, your body’s internal clock is disrupted. You don’t know when you should sleep or eat. For example, it is 2 am in your host country, but you are wide awake.
Getting plenty of rest before flying is crucial. If you are stressed out, tired, or tense, your jet lag may be worse. Don’t think that you’ll tire yourself out so you can sleep on the flight. Last-minute changes to your routine can have an effect on how to adjust to your new time zone.
About a week or so before your trip, adjust your schedule to meet the time of your host destination. If you are traveling east you will want to go to bed at least an hour earlier for a few days before your flight. If you are traveling west, go to be an hour later for a few days before your flight.
If you’re on vacation, you will probably be okay to arrive whenever. Just give yourself a day to relax before doing extraneous activities. However, if you have to work or need to be a peak performance when you arrive at your destination, you may want to build in 1-3 days (although jet lag can last for a week or two) into your schedule to get acclimated to your destination.
When you’re on the flight it might be tempting to go for alcohol or soda. But, drinking enough water can help alleviate jet lag. If you’re dehydrated, jet lag can be worse.
Travel Tip: Pack an empty water bottle so that when you’re on the plane you can drink more water than what is usually offered.
If it’s daytime while you’re on the plane, try to stay up. If it’s nighttime at your destination, by all means, knock out.
If possible, try to arrive during the day. This will give you a full day of activities and sunlight to keep you awake. By time night hits, you’ll be tired and ready to go to sleep.