Fight Jet Lag: 3 Simple Tips to Minimize It
Jet Lag stops a lot of people from traveling long distances. First there’s the mind numbing long haul flight. How can you get any sleep on the plane? Then it’s followed by drowsiness and sleeping through the first few days of your trip. Don’t waste any more precious vacation days! Keep reading for all the tips.
Note: These tips pertain mostly for those that are traveling from North America to Asia. These flights are a minimum of 12 hours. Flights include traveling backwards through time zones, then going forward many many hours ahead. Specifically I’m flying out of the Northeastern part of the U.S. This means flying out of either New York or New Jersey in The States. You can use similar principles no matter what direction you’re traveling.
The blurry photo below shows the joy of getting to sleep across a row of seats in economy.
1: Midnight flights to fight Jet Lag
Midnight flights are key when flying to Asia from North America. It doesn’t have to be at exactly midnight. Just try to make it early in the morning. This works because you’ll be starting the flight when you are already sleepy. You’ll be able to stick close to your normal sleep schedule at the beginning of the flight. This increases the chances of getting the most sleep on the flight.
But what if you aren’t sleepy at the beginning of the flight? What if you fall sleep later into your flight? Will this give you jet lag?
2: No need to stick to a sleep schedule
Don’t worry about falling asleep throughout your flight. You may sleep in spirts. Catch three hours of sleep, watch a movie, then catch another three hours. I don’t focus on trying to match the time zone of my destination. The goal is to be as rested as possible.
But you have to be able to sleep in the first place. Some people say no to alcohol on flights. I have wine on flights and don’t have any issues. In many cases it helps relax me and/or puts me to sleep. Wear layers that are easy to remove depending on the temperature of the plane. Use an eye mask and a comfortable pillow.
3: Jump right in at your destination
Get right into the time zone of your destination. This means no naps at the hotel or Airbnb when you land. Take a shower and keep it moving. Plan something to do as soon as you get there so you’re less tempted to sleep. Stay awake until it’s the normal time to go to sleep in that time zone.
These tips work for going from North America to Asia. I’ve also flown in the other direction, heading to Europe and the Middle East. In those cases, I’ve taken day time flights. I also choose to jump right into their time zones. Taking too long to get used to the new time zone will only waste precious days of your trip. And no one wants that!