If you’re planning to travel outside of your time zone this summer, you may be worried about jet lag. Jet lag is what happens when you enter a new time zone, but your body is still accustomed to the previous time zone. This might mean you might sleep away half of your day and then are up all night long, or you may be ready for bed when it’s still daylight and wake up before the sun even rises. Here are a few tips to help you avoid jet lag so you can make the most out of your trip.
The first step in avoiding jet lag comes before you even get on the plane. When selecting your flights, look for one that suits your sleep schedule. If you’re someone who sleeps well on a plane, book a red-eye so you can rest the duration of the flight, making the transition effortless. Pick a window seat so you can lean against the wall and aren’t disturbed by your neighbors if they need to get up to use the restroom. If you aren’t able to sleep on a flight, pick a flight with an early arrival time, so you’re able to get a full night of sleep when you reach your destination.
Adjust your sleep schedule before leaving
Before going on your trip, take some time to gradually adjust your sleep schedule while still at home. For each time zone you’ll travel through, change your sleep by one hour each day. Use a jet lag calculator to determine when you should be falling asleep and waking up. If you’re struggling to fall asleep at a different time, consider taking a natural sleep aid like melatonin. Adjust your eating schedule to match your sleep schedule as well.
Make yourself comfortable
The more comfortable you feel on your flight, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep. Wear loose-fitting clothes and multiple layers so you can adjust to the temperature of the plane. Pack a sleep mask and earplugs so you can get rest regardless of what is happening on the flight. Be sure also to bring a neck pillow and blanket.
If you aren’t traveling overnight, you don’t want to sleep for any longer than 30 minutes. A power nap will help refresh you but are short enough that you won’t fall into a deep sleep and wake up groggier than you were when you went to sleep. Buckle your seatbelt over top of your blanket, so you aren’t awoken by the flight attendants.