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Essential Tips to Adjust to Jet Lag Fast

You’ve likely experienced itthat groggy, disoriented feeling after a long-haul flight that throws off your sleep patterns and energy levels. It’s called jet lag, and it can be a real damper on your travel plans.

But, with a few proactive steps, you can overcome this travel nuisance. Let’s unpack some essential tips that could make your next journey significantly more comfortable.

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag occurs when your internal clock, or circadian rhythm, gets disrupted due to crossing several time zones. Your body, accustomed to your home time zone, struggles to adjust, resulting in jet lag. It’s a temporary state, but it can be quite uncomfortable.

Here’s how you can calculate your jet lag recovery

The rule of thumb suggests that for each time zone crossed, it takes about a day for your body to adjust. Let’s say you’ve flown across five time zones, you’ll likely be grappling with jet lag for about five days.

But, with the right strategies, you can help your body adjust faster to the new time zone, minimizing the effects of jet lag.

Common Symptoms to Recognize

When you’re dealing with jet lag, you’ll notice certain symptoms that can significantly affect your daily activities and overall well-being.

You may find yourself struggling to sleep at night yet feeling exhausted throughout the day. That’s because your body clock is still synchronized to your old time zone.

The sleep you do manage to get might be restless and unsatisfying, leading to frequent awakenings or difficulty staying asleep. It can result in concentration and memory problems, making it harder to focus and remember things.

Adapt to New Time Zones

To help your body adapt to the new time zone as swiftly as possible:

  • Forget your old time zone and adjust your watch to the new time immediately.
  • Start eating meals and sleeping according to the local time, not your home zone.
  • If necessary, consider a melatonin supplement to aid sleep.

Manage Sleep During Travel

Resist the urge to nap upon arrival if it’s daylight. Instead, push through fatigue and sleep according to the new schedule.

Utilize downtime during flights for sleep if it aligns with your destination’s nighttime. Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs, along with eye masks, can aid in this.

Craft a Comfortable Sleep Environment

This helps facilitate restful sleep and combat jet lag.

  • Make sure your bedding is cozy and inviting.
  • Opt for a cool room temperature, as it promotes better sleep.
  • Ensure that your space is quiet and dark.
  • Consider using earplugs and a sleep mask if needed.
  • If you’re sensitive to unfamiliar smells, bring a familiar scented candle or diffuser.
  • Eliminate electronic distractions. Keep your phone and other devices away from your bed to avoid disruptive notifications.
  • Respect your body’s need for a calm pre-sleep routine. A warm bath, some gentle stretches, or a good book can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.

Don’t Neglect Physical Movement

Exercise can help reset your biological clock by reducing stress hormones and improving sleep.

When you get to your new destination, don’t spend all of your time sitting around. Instead, take a walk, jog, or stretch. Explore the city, go to a neighborhood park, or take a fitness class.

You’ll not only receive some much-needed exercise but also be exposed to natural light, which helps to reset your internal clock.

Even simple exercises, such as stretching in your hotel room, can assist. Every ounce of movement helps you overcome jet lag.

Stay Hydrated

Water is your secret weapon for overcoming the exhaustion and disorientation that comes with changing time zones. Dehydration can increase jet lag symptoms, making you feel even more lethargic and out of sorts.

Stay Hydrated
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Make sure you drink enough fluids before, during, and after the flight. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it frequently. Avoid liquids that can dehydrate you, such as alcohol and coffee. Instead, choose water, herbal tea, or electrolyte-rich liquids.

Hydration also replaces important nutrients lost while traveling. Stay hydrated, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

Take Melatonin to Adjust Sleep Schedule

The hormone melatonin can help adjust your sleep cycle in a new time zone.

Produced in your brain, melatonin regulates your sleep-wake cycle, helping you to fall asleep when it gets dark. When you travel across time zones, your internal body clock gets thrown off balance, but melatonin can help reset it.

You can take a melatonin supplement, which is readily available over the counter, to help encourage sleep at the right time in your new location. However, it’s important to use it strategically and not overdo it.


Navigating jet lag doesn’t have to ruin your trip. Remember to sync your watch to the local time, stick to local eating and sleeping habits, and stay active and hydrated.

Consider melatonin supplements if needed, but consult a doctor first. By following these simple steps, you’ll conquer time zone shifts with ease, making your travel experience more enjoyable.