Excited about an upcoming trip abroad but not looking forward to feeling dazed and dragged down by the time change? No worries, here are some easy, drug-free approaches that will help reduce jet lag symptoms.
A few days before your travels
Go to bed and wake up an hour earlier/later, depending on the direction of travel; if flying east it‚Äôs earlier and west it’s later. Ease yourself into modifying your sleep pattern by 30 minute increments daily. You don’t want to shock your body by attempting adjust to a 6 hour time difference, just prepare it a bit. Oh, and there’s an app for that.
During the flight
Make sure to drink plenty of water. If your body is dehydrated, this will intensify jet lag.
Once you take your assigned seat, set your watch to your destination’s time.
Eat a snack. If you normally eat dinner at 6pm, have a little something to munch on at your 6pm home-time. Later, have a lighter meal that is closer inline to the local schedule that you’ll be adopting.
If, upon landing, there is decent amount of daylight remaining, consider taking a nap on the plane. Try not to doze for more than 90 minutes, as this is the length of a natural sleep cycle.
Depending on the direction of the flight and the time of day it lands, getting a dose of sunlight can help adjust your internal clock. Check out this jet lag calculator that has been created specifically for this method.
A few more tips to consider
For larger time-zone changes, try and arrive a couple days early. This is especially helpful if you need to be alert for an important event.
Give yourself a break. Plan a layover to and from your destination. It can be fun, too. Perhaps this will allow you to catch a glimpse of a country that you otherwise might not have visited.
Stick to your regular sleep and meal routine as much as possible for short trips.
And finally, this may go without saying
Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine before and during your flights to Europe, or anywhere else in the world. Bon Voyage!