How to Combat Jet Lag: 8 Trips for a Better Night’s Sleep When Traveling

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3.) On the day of your flight, keep hydrated by drinking water and avoiding alcohol. Dehydration exacerbates jet lag, and alcohol and caffeine are two causes of dehydration, although a single cup of coffee or tea will have minimal adverse effects.

4.) Adjust your eating schedule to local time and eat lightly. Dining on time at your destination will help your internal clock adjust to the change. Eat smaller meals and portions, as large meals make it more difficult for your body’s internal clock to adjust. Start your day with protein-rich foods such as eggs, milk, meat, and cheese.

5.) Get plenty of exercise and keep moving. Brisk walks count; sitting in front of the television in the hotel room doesn’t.

6.) Take melatonin. Your body naturally produces melatonin around bedtime. Taking a capsule half an hour before your new bedtime will help adjust your body clock.

7.) At your destination, keep curtains drawn in the evening and avoid exposing yourself to television or the light from a computer for at least an hour before bedtime, as that light could cause your body to think it’s the start of a new day and affect your internal clock.

8.) Finally, if you are still tired at your destination, take a nap. The ideal length of time for a nap is either 20 or 90 minutes and nothing in between. Waking up from a nap while in a deep phase of sleep can add to your discomfiture so you want to end it before deep sleep begins, which is generally around the 30-minute mark. Otherwise, sleep through a complete REM cycle, which lasts roughly 90 minutes.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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