A Flight Attendant’s Guide to Jet Lag

By The Flying Pinto

When traveling across two or more time zones you become prone to jet lag. Though there is no quick fix for jet lag, here a few tips to get you through:

  1. Be in the best shape you can be before your trip. If you have advanced notice, start eating healthy, take your vitamins and get plenty of sleep while you can.

  2. Once on your flight, set your watch to the time zone you will be arriving in.

  3. Plan to “be” on the time zone you will be arriving in. Once on your flight try to sleep if it is night time at your arrival destination. Set an alarm to wake when it is morning at your arrival city.

  4. Once you arrive, if you must take a nap, limit yourself to 1-3 hours. This is difficult and you’ll want to sleep longer, (In fact you may want to shoot yourself, rather than get up) but if you do you will have trouble going to sleep on time in your new time zone.

  5. Try melatonin. It worked for me, but I had crazy dreams so I don’t like it. I know many people that love it.

  6. Have a night cap! No, not the alcoholic version. As tempting as that may be, your sleep will be interrupted enough without adding alcohol. Stick with a night time tea, like chamomile.

  7. Go to bed at the time of night you usually go to bed, in your new time zone. You may still feel groggy the next day and/or wake through the night, but this is the quickest way to be on the local time zone so you can make the most of your trip.

What are your tips for jet lag? We would love to hear your ideas! Join us on Facebook and twitter to continue the discussion. Shopping for new luggage? Go for the brand that airline crews use, but save money by visiting their outlet, TravelProluggageoutlet.com.  And don’t forget my discount code: theflyingpinto15 at check out to receive an additional 15% off your total order! Check out more exclusive discounts for our readers “here.”

*front page photo courtesy of the migrating mom.

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3 comments

  1. drink lots of water, smile lots, pray lots … air travel is a blast!

  2. Light meals the day before flight and on the day of travel. Drink plenty of water, lessen caffeine, sugary drinks, sweet snacks and alcohol intake. Tomato juice somehow works well with me. Start adjusting your sleep pattern and meal times to the away time zone the day of travel.

  3. There was a study that showed fasting for around 16 hours can reset your body clock (http://blogs.hbr.org/health-and-well-being/2009/05/a-fast-solution-to-jet-lag.html)

    The other thing that helps if you’re arriving in the early morning is eating a high-protein breakfast.

    On a long-haul flight I generally don’t eat much if at all on the plane, until breakfast time if it’s a morning arrival, then pick the highest protein option for breakfast. This has practically eliminated any jetlag. I need an early night the first night (around 9pm) but after that I’m good to go. And no sleep during the day when you arrive – not even a nap. You need to be outdoors in sunlight, helping those light-sensitive cells in your body adjust.

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