How to Not Get Jet Lagged

Up in the Clouds During Sunrise

Up in the Clouds During Sunrise

Jet Lagged – a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on high-speed aircraft.

Again, another blog post from above the clouds. This time, I wanted to talk about how to not get jet lagged while traveling domestically or internationally.

  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after your flights. Drink lots of water prior, on, and following your flights and avoid caffeinated & alcoholic beverages because these will continue to dehydrate you while already in a dry airplane.
  • Lay down and try to go to sleep on the same schedule as the part of the world that you are visiting. If this means that you go to bed a few hours earlier/later, this in my experience, has helped me out a lot.
  • It’s OK to take naps when you arrive or feel tired, but don’t sleep for more than 90 minutes. If you sleep longer than a REM Cycle, you will become too rested and unable to fall asleep at the proper time the first night.
  • Plan a busy schedule & push through it. This tip is more or less telling you to ‘suck it up’ and push through the sleepiness. Having arrived in Cairo at 3:30am, I purposefully packed my first day with a private tour that began at 8:00am. By the time I got to my AirBnB, I had about 3.5 hours that I could sleep.
  • Eat good food. Don’t eat airport McDonald’s or other foods that aren’t good for you. I don’t think I’ve ever ate a cheeseburger from McDonald’s and not felt lethargic afterwards.
  • Take Emergen-C or another Vitamin supplement prior to your trip. Not only will this help protect you form getting sick, it should provide you with the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to remain healthy. Especially after being inactive on an airplane and in transit for >12 hours.
  • Meditate to keep a clear mind. I personally, use Headspace to keep my mind clear & alert while traveling.
  • Use – this service will help you create a calendar for how to adjust your sleep schedule, which will in turn adjust your internal clock.
  • Look into Melatonin. Melatonin, according to research, is believed to help set the body’s internal clock. Since melatonin seems to control when you go to sleep and when you wake up, some doctors recommend taking a little bit for the first few days at a new location.
  • Try to book an overnight flight & sleep on the airplane. This seems pretty simple in theory, but is difficult to do, especially if you do not normally fall asleep until late in the evening.
  • When you arrive, take a shower. This helps me feel completely refreshed after a long flight overseas.
  • While on the flight, walk around the aisle. If you can’t sleep, this will feel great to do rather than sitting in an uncomfortable seat. Sure, you can’t quite get your full workout in, but moving around will help you.
Hopefully the above tips explained how not to get jet lagged. Have anything else that I might’ve missed? Add them to the comments below.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.

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