The best ways to beat jet lag (EU/US edition)

Published by Ciarán

  • General: Don't think about jet lag too much; don't freak out if you are up early or awake too late

    Jet lag gets worse the more you think about it. Up in the middle of the night? So what - check some emails, look out the window - Podcast on sleep timer… Don't stress out… But do go back to bed! ;)

  • East to West: Take a flight that arrives late (after 6pm local West)

    Makes a huge difference if it is midnight for you biologically and you still need to stay up 12h; or you just need to make through 3-4 more hours after arriving. I personally like flights that arrive 8-10pm local West.

  • East to West: No alcohol on flight

    It is like drinking alcohol in the middle of the day and will make it hard to stay awake. You will feel really bad arriving. Also dehydrates more, etc

  • East to West: Take a short nap on your flight (1-2 hours), around 2-4 hours before arriving - stay awake rest of flight

    Helps you stay awake just that bit longer when you arrive.

  • East to West: dine out when you arrive so you stay awake

    Good food, great place = easy to stay awake! This means you should really eat very little on the flight - basically skip a meal (eat a handful of Almonds instead)

  • East to West: don't go to bed before 10pm when arriving

    You'll find it easier to slip in to the timezone - and even if you wake up at 4am it will still be a solid 6h of sleep…

  • East to West: Take small doses of melatonin first 2-3 nights

    Small doses first 2,3 nights works for me. Don't get hooked on it and let your body adapt naturally.

  • East to West: If you wake up early no prob; do some emails and get some coffee - don't worry

    Personally I love being awake at 5am and getting a cup of coffee + working through emails. I start the day in the West one step ahead and will have worked off a lot… Great way to start the day

  • East to West: Meet folks for dinner first 1-2 evenings - makes you stay awake

    Great conversations = easy to stay awake

  • West to East: Take a flight that arrives early (before 11 am local)

    "Wake up" on the flight arriving at the East at a normal morning waking / working time so you are right in the rhythm.

  • West to East: You have to sleep on the flight, so consider a strong sleeping pill if you can't

    Only time I would ever take a sleeping pill. But if you get 6-8h of solid sleep during the night flight it will make a HUGE difference. I personally can't sleep on airplanes (too cramped, strangers around me, etc) so this helps a lot. Have a little drink (1-2 small glasses of wine max) before sleeping to relax but not more - ideally you don't drink at all.

  • West to East: Be disciplined about getting up early after first night; don't sleep on no matter how tempting

    2 alarms, minimum. Lot's of coffee - it will be worth your while. Don't stay in bed no matter how tempting

  • West to East: Have a quick nap early afternoon

    This may help first 2,3 days so you don't 'slump' esp in the afternoon. But keep them real short - 15-30mins max.

  • General: Change all your clocks to destination time the second you board the aircraft

    Immediately puts you in to right mindset - a beer now? Urgh no thanks its 10am…

  • General: Avoid heavy food, eat lots of almonds esp on flights instead of airline food

    Almonds are my secret weapon. A handful is a meal and keeps me going - no need to eat crappy food.

  • Genereal: Salt water nose spray on long haul flights

    Helps you feel fresh + helps to avoid catching a virus etc.

  • General: "Tears Again" eye spray to avoid dry eyes on long haul flights

    My eyes dry up quickly on long flights so this product saves me:

  • General: LOTS of water on flights

    Don't rely on you getting enough water on board… I always have at least 2L of extra water in my carry-on.

  • General: Use to choose the best seat

    Uppps daytime flight an no window…? Inflight entertainment system box under seat in front of you so you can't stretch out during a night flight… All avoidable if you check SeatGuru