Travel and Leisure

Feeling Jet Lagged? Here’s How to Cope with It

Feeling Jet Lagged? Here’s How to Cope with It

Jet lag, also known as a jet lag disorder, is a temporary sleep issue that can impact individuals who travel across multiple time zones. Your body possesses its own internal clock, referred to as circadian rhythms, which indicate when to be awake and when to sleep.

The occurrence of jet lag arises due to the fact that your body's internal clock remains synchronized with your original time zone and does not adjust to the time zone of your destination. The more time zones you traverse, the higher the likelihood of experiencing jet lag.

Jet lag may bring about daytime fatigue, general unease, difficulty maintaining alertness, and digestive issues. While these symptoms are temporary, they can affect your comfort during vacations or business trips. Nonetheless, here are some measures you can take to prevent the effects of jet lag.

How to get over jet lag?

How to get over jet lag?
  • Adjust to Your New Time Zone

Upon reaching your destination, make it a priority to adjust to the new time zone. While your devices may automatically update your clocks, promptly set any manually adjusted watches or travel clocks to the local time upon departure.

Persisting with old-time habits can lead to difficulties at your destination, so align your eating and sleeping routines with the local time to minimize disruption.

  • Effective Sleep Management

Your sleep quality is important for your health in general. According to your new schedule, ensure you sleep sufficiently at the most appropriate times. As your flight might overlap with nighttime at your destination, try to catch some Z's while in the air.

Utilize helpful sleep aids such as noise-canceling headphones, eye masks, earplugs, and comfortable travel pillows and blankets. Additionally, resist the temptation to nap upon arrival if it's daytime, as this can interfere with sleep later on. Rest well and adjust smoothly to your new time!

  • Stay Hydrated

When traveling long distances, staying hydrated is important to avoid potential dehydration. While you could limit your water intake to avoid frequent restroom trips, it's worth reconsidering this choice. Maintaining proper hydration levels can help in managing jet lag symptoms and travel fatigue. Remember to continue drinking plenty of water upon reaching your destination.

  • Try to Get Sunlight

Staying outside in the sunshine can wake your body and reduce the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleepiness. Exposing yourself to morning light can aid in adjusting your body clock when traveling eastward and needing to wake up and function earlier.

Conversely, increasing light exposure at night may be advantageous if you're moving west and need to stay up later. To reduce jet lag, a dedicated lamp, light box, or even headgear can provide the required light exposure.

  • Consume a Beverage with Caffeine

While caffeine doesn't possess the power to cure jet lag completely, it can certainly serve as a valuable aid in maintaining alertness and focus throughout the day. A study revealed that the consumption of 300 milligrams (mg) of slow-release caffeine resulted in heightened alertness among individuals traveling eastbound.

  • Keep Your Sleeping Space Comfortable

Ensure that your sleeping arrangements while traveling are comfortable and conducive to a restful night's sleep. Take the necessary steps to prevent any disturbances, such as the ringing or beeping of phones or clocks while you sleep.

  • Consider trying Melatonin

Naturally produced by your body to induce sleepiness, melatonin also comes in supplement form. It's worth considering melatonin to help regulate your sleep patterns when dealing with jet lag. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, taking melatonin at night might help.

Alternatively, taking it early in the morning may assist if you've traveled west and need to prolong your sleep. Avoid consuming more than 5 mg at a time to prevent undesirable side effects. It's important to note that the FDA does not regulate melatonin as a supplement. Exercise caution when experimenting with it, and consult your doctor if you have any concerns or inquiries.

  • Take Prescribed Medications

Consult your doctor to explore the potential benefits of using sleep aids for jet lag-induced insomnia. Sleep aids can assist in obtaining more rest during the night while adjusting to a new location, including during air travel.

However, it is important to know the potential side effects of sleep aids. Engage in a thorough discussion with your doctor to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. It is vital to know that sleep aids may not alleviate daytime symptoms of jet lag.

Is it Possible to Prevent Jet Lag?

Is it Possible to Prevent Jet Lag?

Travel can bring about certain inconveniences, like the dreaded jet lag. If you find yourself with enough time before your departure, consider gradually adjusting your sleep schedule by waking up earlier or staying up later in alignment with your destination's time zone.

Additionally, it is advisable to allocate ample time during your trip for acclimating to the new time zone, ensuring you can fully enjoy your days feeling refreshed and in sync with the local schedule.

Do Naps Aid in Jet Lag?

Do Naps Aid in Jet Lag?

A brief nap can be beneficial in combating daytime sleepiness caused by jet lag. However, it's crucial to exercise caution when napping. Oversleeping or napping too close to your desired bedtime can further disrupt your sleep schedule.

Aim for naps lasting less than 30 minutes and schedule them at least eight hours before your intended bedtime. This approach will help you optimize your sleep routine while minimizing the effects of jet lag.s


Taking these steps can make all the difference when it comes to handling jet lag and make your travel experience that much more enjoyable. To wrap up, jet lag can be a real drag when traveling, and it's important to take steps to help prevent its effects or at least lessen them.

By incorporating these tips into your daily life while traveling, you can make jet lag another part of the adventure rather than something you have to dread and endure. Happy traveling!

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