The 101: fighting jet lag (and winning!)
Jet lag: it’s the real deal, and can be a big downer on your vacation if you aren’t getting any sleep, and missing out on the fun. Follow my tips below to set your body, and vacation, up for success!
Once you land, focus on getting your body on the local time zone ASAP. So if you land at 1PM keep you body awake until at least 8PM. Or if you land at 11PM make sure you go to bed right away. But don’t forget to set your alarm in the morning so you wake up on the local time zone.
When you’re fighting through yawns on these first few days of a vacation, try to pack your itinerary with activities that will keep you awake and engaged, such as walking tours, hands-on food experiences and more. And caffeine, obvi
If possible, try to book yourself on a flight that lets your body sleep when it naturally wants to sleep. For example, I live on the West Coast of the US, so the ideal international flight is one that leaves after 6PM at night, and goes on a long-haul flight (i.e. without a layover 3-4 hours into the flight.) This not only helps me sleep when my body naturally want to sleep, but then when I land, I have more energy to push through the long day.
If you’re not a great plane sleeper (like me) I start getting my body ready a few days before I leave. For example, next week I leave for Thailand. My flight departs the West coast at 10AM, and goes straight to Asia. Now I’m not normally tired at 10AM, and ready to sleep, but if I don’t get sleep on this flight, I’ll be in a world of jet lag hurt when I land! So for a few days before I take off, I’ll start cutting back my sleep so that I’m tired by the time I get on that plane. I might go to bed late the night before my flight, and then wake up early, so I only have 4 hours of sleep by the time I get on the plane. Even 3-4 hours of sleep on a long-haul flight can make a big difference in how you feel when you land!
Be sure to do a little prep work to make sure that if you sleep on a plane, you sleep well For example, make sure you have enough layers to keep you warm, snacks and water on hand, moisturizer and good reading material. There’s nothing worse than being tired on a plane, but unable to fall asleep because you’re cold, hungry or dehydrated. And use the reading material to exhaust your eyes. And headphones, and a good eye mask, can do wonders
Cheer’s to travel, adventure and the sleep you need to enjoy it all
Living Big Founder + Chief Adventurer and Travel Designer