“Jet Lag is for Amateurs” - Dick Clark

Learn to handle jet lag like a pro and get on with the important part of your vacation - enjoying yourself.

By Joe Castignani

Summer adventures are just around the corner, and no one wants the first few days of a much-needed vacation to be marred by the fatigue and disorientation of jet lag. We are all familiar with the feeling when our internal clocks go haywire due to crossing time zones. But luckily, it doesn’t have to play out that way. Check out these tips to help you handle jet lag like a pro and to get on with the important part of your vacation - enjoying yourself.

First things first: Preparation is key.

Do yourself a huge favor and try to adjust your sleep schedule gradually before your trip. If you're heading east, start going to bed a half-hour earlier each night; if you're going west, stay up a little later. This will help your body adapt to the upcoming time change more easily.

Tips for the flight: Hydrate.

During your flight, remember to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine. They may seem tempting but can disrupt your sleep patterns and make jet lag worse. Instead, opt for herbal tea, a caffeine-free soda, juice, or a refreshing glass of water.

When you arrive: Embrace the sunlight.

If it’s daytime, get outside and soak up that natural light to help reset your body clock. Take a leisurely walk, explore the surroundings, and let the sunshine work its magic.

Sleep tips: Don’t forget your pillow.

Naps are your best friend when dealing with jet lag. Take short power naps during the day to combat fatigue. Be careful not to overdo it, as naps might make it harder to sleep at night. And speaking of getting a good night’s sleep, don’t forget to pack a sleep mask and earplugs. These can help you block out light and noise, which can make it easier to sleep. Of course, bring a comfortable pillow (may I suggest the 6-Chamber MVMI Pillow?) to help you feel more at home in your hotel room.

The big gun for jet lag: Melatonin

Melatonin is not a sleep aid, but rather, a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythm (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. You may benefit from a dose of melatonin 1-2 hours before your target bedtime. This can help reset your circadian rhythm to your new time zone. There are many studies demonstrating the efficacy of melatonin for jet lag, but make sure to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have additional concerns.

What we have learned

Jet lag doesn’t have to be a major drag on your vacation. Prepare yourself appropriately prior to the trip, avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, rest when you're tired, and allow yourself the space to adapt to the new time zone. Consider the use of melatonin to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.

Bon voyage!

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Dream big, work hard, sleep ambitiously,

Joe Castignani