What Are The Most Effective Ways To Deal With Jet Lag On Long-Haul Flights?


Jet lag is a common issue that travelers face when crossing multiple time zones during long-haul flights. To combat jet lag effectively, experts recommend several strategies.

Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Before Departure

One of the most effective ways to deal with jet lag is to start adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before your flight. Gradually shift your bedtime to match the time zone of your destination to help your body adapt more easily. By slowly acclimating yourself to the new schedule, you can minimize the shock to your system when you arrive at your destination.

Stay Hydrated and Avoid Alcohol

Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of jet lag, so it’s important to stay hydrated during your flight. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can disrupt your sleep patterns and make jet lag more severe. Opt for water or herbal teas to keep your body hydrated and functioning optimally during your journey. Depriving yourself of essential fluids can exacerbate feelings of fatigue and disorientation associated with jet lag.

Get Plenty of Natural Light

Exposure to natural light can help reset your internal body clock and reduce the effects of jet lag. Try to spend time outdoors in the sunlight once you arrive at your destination to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Natural light is a powerful regulator of your circadian rhythm, signaling to your body that it’s time to be awake and alert. This can help you adjust more quickly to the new time zone and combat feelings of grogginess.

Consider Using Melatonin

Melatonin supplements can help regulate your sleep patterns and reduce the symptoms of jet lag. Consult with a healthcare professional before using melatonin to determine the appropriate dosage and timing for your specific needs. Melatonin is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Taking a melatonin supplement can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, making it easier to adjust to a new time zone.

Stay Active and Eat Well

Engaging in light physical activity and eating nutritious meals can help your body adjust to the new time zone more quickly. Avoid heavy meals and opt for light, balanced options to support your overall well-being. Exercise can help boost your energy levels and combat feelings of lethargy associated with jet lag, while a healthy diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally.

Give Yourself Time to Adjust

It’s important to be patient with yourself as you acclimate to a new time zone. Allow yourself some time to rest and recover from your flight before diving into a busy itinerary to give your body the chance to adjust naturally. Rushing into activities can prolong the effects of jet lag and hinder your ability to fully enjoy your trip. Give yourself the space and time needed to transition smoothly into your new environment.

Elena Mars

Elena writes part-time for the Scientific Origin, focusing mostly on health-related issues.