As soon as the plane touches the ground, the effects of jet lag can start setting in. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll likely want to make the most of your trip, and there are ways to ease jet lag so you can do just that.
Varbanova says, “Even if I am tired, I find it best to jump into the day instead of laying around the room. The faster you get used to the new time zone, the better. Going for a walk in the park or a workout in the gym will wake you up and help you get ahead with your day.”
Lane Lee agrees. “Personally, I find trying to adjust to the new time change right away really helps. If that means I’m awake for 20 hours after I land, so be it!” She adds, “If I can spend the first day outside, the sunshine really helps reset my internal clock.”
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Wilder says it can help to schedule your first day’s events ahead of time. “Make sure you plan out what the day will look like when you get to your destination. Set your watch to the time zone you will be landing in and figure out what kind of activities you will be doing,” says Wilder.
Sunlight and fresh air can be a powerful prescription for jet lag. “Focus on having fun and not the time zone you just left. If it is daylight when you land, pick outdoor activities to do such as a walking tour of the city or a hike. It can be tempting to take a quick nap when you land, but pushing yourself to acclimate immediately after you get off the plane will get you the best results," says Wilder.
Meals can also be tricky if you’re in a new time zone, but Wilder says that “even if you are not hungry at lunch time, make a point, especially during the first few days, to eat on schedule.”
During the day, you might be exhausted. Then at night, there’s a chance you’ll be wide awake and find it impossible to fall asleep. In this case, Lane Lee recommends melatonin. “Melatonin is a great supplement that helps promote sleep and reset the body’s clock. I recommend taking it at bedtime in the new time zone to make sure you fall asleep at a reasonable hour and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning," says Lee Lane, adding that an Epsom salt bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil is a “great way to calm the nervous system and prepare the body for sleep.”
Finding the right circadian rhythm can even be as simple as choosing the ideal lighting in your hotel room.
Varbanova says, “I find that adjusting the light to match your desired time zone helps your body adjust faster. If you’re trying to keep yourself awake, brighten the lights, and if you want to get some serious sleep, use black-out curtains or an eye mask.”
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