When traveling across time zones, passengers might suffer from severe fatigue, irritation, headache and difficulties with concentration. These ailments, among many others caused by disturbance of a natural day and night rhythm, are defined as “jet lag”.
Jet lag symptoms are more distressing when you’re traveling eastwards – our body finds it easier to cope with a longer day than to “lose” several hours while heading east.
Tips for travelers going westward
Before you take off
- A couple of days before the journey, start training your body to adapt to time shifts, e.g., try to go to bed an hour or two later than usual.
While on board
- Do your best NOT to sleep. Try out our how-to-fight-sleepiness best practice:
- Change position and move a lot.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Eat protein-rich food (such as cheese, fish, eggs) – it will help you stay awake.
- Once the plane touches down, do not give in to tiredness; wait until the evening and then go to sleep.
- Take full advantage of daylight – it will help you fight sleepiness.
- Plan important meetings for the morning hours – that is when you will be most efficient.
Tips for travelers going eastward
Before you take off
You can relieve the symptoms of jet lag by accommodating your body to time shift a few days before the journey.
Try going to sleep and getting out of bed earlier than usual.
- While on board
- Try to sleep. Carbohydrates-rich food (e.g., fruit juice, potatoes, pasta, or yogurt) will help you doze off.
- Avoid taking sleeping pills and drinking alcohol. Instead, use natural and proven methods for trouble with insomnia, like herbal tea.
- Plan important meetings for the evening hours – that is when you will be most efficient.
- Avoid alcohol. It hampers your body’s accommodation processes.
- Drink a lot of water during the flight.
- Remember to move the watch to the time of your destination. It is best to do so right after boarding the plane. This will help you mentally switch to the new day rhythm.
- Do your best to fit into your destination’s schedule of meals, seep hours, etc.
- During first days after arrival avoid heavy physical effort and mental strain.
- Spend as much time as possible outdoors.
- If you take medicines at strictly defined hours, consult your physician before the journey.