How to Overcome Jet Lag

Every traveler knows how difficult is to adjust their internal clock to the local time after arrival, especially while flying over several time zones. No matter how frequently you fly, you almost always get struck by jet lag. Overcoming it is no easy task, but these are my tips that help me (and hopefully you as well) to cope with it quite effectively.

1. Melatonin

It’s a hormone that helps your body to regulate your sleeping and waking cycles. You can get it in the form of pills or you can boost your body’s production naturally by eating a certain food. Having more than the usual amount of pineapples, bananas, or oranges couple of days before your flight should do the job. Just be sure to eat it at evenings. Don’t ask me why.

2. Forget about sleeping in the plane

Only in case you fly at evening and your arrival is at morning, I found out it’s never a good idea to sleep on the plane. Imagine having your nap for 10 hours arriving late at night. When is your next sleep going to be? Noon? Afternoon?

In order to not mess up my sleep cycle, even more, I always try to play video games or to do any other activity on my iPhone, that will keep me focused at least for a while. Listening to music or watching a movie might sound like a good idea, but how many times have you stayed awake while being tired and doing those things?

What I recently found useful against falling asleep while flying, is talking to a stranger sitting next to you. Not only it will keep you awake, but the flight will be over in no time. If you are like me (thank god I’m not like that anymore), and you don’t like to be very sociable, read about how I found out that talking to strangers is not really a big deal.

3. Eating

Many of my friends always tell me, that the best way to overcome jet lag, is to never eat anything throughout the flight. While it might help in certain situations, I find it contradictory to my previous statement. I always fall asleep when I’m hungry, and I bet you do too.

4. Lot of drinking

And I don’t only mean beer or other alcoholic beverages. Actually having just one beer or plastic "glass" of wine after a meal is enough. The air in the plane is rather dry which can put a lot of stress on your body, so be sure you get that filthy cup of tea regularly.

5. Walking

I’m not saying you should constantly wander around the plane until you pass out in a lobby from an exhaustion. But getting off that sleepy chair and stretching your muscle every once in a while would definitely keep you more focused.

6. Behaving as locals

Once you arrive at your final destination, it’s necessary to get accustomed to the local time. No matter how tired or hungry you are, eat when locals eat and sleep when locals sleep (and possibly have sex when locals have).

When I follow the above steps and don’t get too much drunk after arrival (which I almost always do), I can usually get off the bed the next morning the same, as I would do in my home country. Fresh and ready to explore.

What are your tips that help you reducing the symptoms of jet lag? Feel free to share.

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