In the good old USA, we get precious few vacation days. So, many of us find ourselves trying to jet to the other side of the world and back within a short span of time, which is incredibly hard on our bodies and minds, not to mention disastrous for the ambitious itineraries we have planned once we land. Worry not if you haven’t yet cracked the code on how to outsmart jet lag; here, seven tips for adjusting your body to travel across time zones, no matter how insane your schedule may be.
Don't Sleep Through Your Vacation
If you'll be flying east, start going to bed increasingly earlier in advance of your trip to prep for the time change. The reverse is true if you're flying west.
Though it may seem obvious that an in-flight nap is a good thing, it's not always the best advice—if it's daytime where you're going, try to stay awake during your travels.
Apparently, the claim that alcohol affects you more at high altitudes isn't exactly true. That said, you're always going to feel better if you don't drink, no matter if you're flying across time zones or not. Besides, planes are dehydrating, which means an in-flight hangover will in fact be worse than it would be on the ground.
Some studies have shown that melatonin decreases jet lag. For best results, take it after dark for a few days in advance of your trip, and continue for two to three days after you've arrived.
No matter how tired you are when you arrive at your destination, refrain from napping on the first day. Stay up until your normal bedtime or, at the very least, sundown.
Even French trees do things better than we do, apparently—this supplement, made from the bark of French trees, has been shown to reduce symptoms of jet lag. You can buy it here, but as with any supplement, we suggest you consult your doctor first!
Unless you're rich, in which case ... definitely fly private.