It seems that there are as many cures for jetlag as there are for hangovers and everyone has their favorite. We’ve culled through the lists (for jetlag cures, you’re on your own for that hangover buddy) for the best cures for jetlag.
First, some jetlag avoidance measures
- If you will arrive in the morning, start by sleeping in preparation for arrival. If you’re taking an overnight flight eastward to the UK, for example, find every way you can to sleep on the plan in preparation for your morning arrival. This can be tough if it’s not your bedtime, so you may have to trick your body with ear plugs, an eye shield, comfy socks, a pillow, etc. If nothing else, try an over-the-counter sleep aid if that works for you.
- If you will arrive in the evening, you’ll want to do the opposite and stay awake on the plane, so your natural tendency to sleep will kick in on time.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fresh water. Alcohol, airplane air, caffeinated drinks can all contribute to dehydrating your body, which can cause significant problems. Drink plenty of water when you travel.
Many travelers swear by melatonin as a way to naturally reset the body’s clock to the new region. We’ll let you judge for yourself with the Sleep Foundation’s information on melatonin.
Now, some jetlag recovery measures
Once you’ve arrived, it’s important to get your body coordinated with the new region, that includes:
- Getting some exercise outside – exposing yourself to the local sunlight helps your body synch up.
- Eat smaller meals (at least the first day) so you don’t accidentally end up too full when you have to go to sleep.
- Again, drink plenty of fresh water to avoid dehydration.
If your trip is fairly short, business travelers recommend scheduling meetings according to your home time zone to be your most alert. You’ll likely be hurting after you get home, but at least you’ll be on your game during the meetings!