If you are traveling overseas, chances are, you want to make the most of your time. That means there’s really no room for jet lag, the symptoms of which are daytime sleepiness, confusion, hunger at inappropriate times, and general irritability. So, given the sudden shift in time, how do you stay at your best on a vacation? To fend off the symptoms of a sudden time adjustment, consider these tips:
Reset your internal clock before leaving.
It may seem like a hassle, but attempt to adjust your sleep schedule and eating patterns to the time zone to which you will be traveling. Begin the new schedule at least four days before your departure date.1 Then, when you arrive at your destination, all that you willneed to do is adapt your daily routine to your surroundings.
Schedule overnight flights.
If your flight to your destination is overnight, you can get ahead of sleep along the way and better adapt to your destination’s time upon arrival. If you’re flying coach, select a window seat and bring a small pillow to prop yourself against the wall of the plane.
Cut out coffee.
While you might not exactly feel wired after you drink a caffeinated beverage, caffeine remains in your system for 12 hours – a good rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine for at least that many hours before your flight to prevent it from affecting your sleep.2
Mild dehydration is commonly associated with jet lag.3 In order to stay as hydrated aspossible, try to consume at least eight ounces of water every hour before and during your flight – even if you don’t feel thirsty.4
The air in flight is more prone to dry out your body, which can make you more
susceptible to jet lag. The effects of alcohol can also be quickened by the altitude. In order to feel more rested once you hit the ground in another country, try to avoid drinking alcohol while on the plane.