Jet lag is what happens when your body struggles to adjust after flying across time zones. Unavoidable, right?
You can take steps before, during and after your flight to minimize disruptions to your sleep cycle, mood and well-being. This in turn can help make travel more enjoyable and productive.
Here are 8 killer tips for minimizing the effects of jet lag - make sure to pack them with your carry-on for your next flight.
- Plan ahead says the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Get up and go to bed earlier several days before an eastward trip. Get up and go to bed later for a westward trip.
- Select a flight that allows early evening arrival and stay up until 10 p.m. local time.
- Try to take a short nap on a short flight and a longer nap on a longer flight, suggests Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D. in Good Night, The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.
- Time your naps to avoid emerging from one in a deep sleep, which could leave you groggy.
- Drink plenty of liquids, preferably water, during the flight to avoid dehydration.
- Stay away from excessive caffeine, alcohol and tobacco on the flight and during your stay.
- Spend as much time as possible outside at your destination, since daylight can help reset your internal clock.
- If you've traveled eastward, seek bright light in the morning. If you've traveled westward, seek bright light in the afternoon.