Anyone who has crossed several time zones to visit a destination is all too familiar with the jet lag that follows. I find the jet lag of traveling east worse than that of traveling west. It is often difficult to carry on with one’s itinerary when the desire for sleep is far greater. Here are my tips for alleviating jet lag.
- Try to sleep as much as you can on the plane. From Detroit, most trans-Atlantic flights are around seven to eight hours. I like to get a window seat so I don’t have to let anyone out, and I sleep as much as I can with my head against the wall of the airplane. On a typical flight, I manage to get around four hours of quality sleep. It is tough to pass up the free movies, but your body will thank you upon arrival.
- Dress to sleep. In order to get the most sleep during the flight, one needs to be comfortable. Wear clothing that isn’t binding or restrictive and dress in layers since I always find airplanes to be too cold.
- Avoid caffeine at least eight hours before the flight takes off. Avoiding caffeine will make it a lot easier to fall asleep during the flight.
- Adjust to the local time as soon as possible. The first day will be tough, but try your best to get through the day on the local time.
- Avoid alcohol until after your first night’s sleep at the new destination. Drinking alcohol when you have gone 12 plus hours without sleep will only make you more tired and impair your judgment.
- Order two coffees as the plane is landing to perk you up.
- Pack energy drinks. I prefer “5 Hour Energy” and take enough for the first two days (around 3-4 shots). They really do help. They come in less than three ounce containers thus getting them through airport security has never been an issue.
Although nothing will alleviate jet lag 100 per cent, these tips should help take the edge off the desire to sleep.