3 Tricks How to Deal with Jet Lag

3 Tricks How to Deal with Jet Lag

Jet lag is a common condition of all long distance travels pursued by plane. Due to a time zone change people experience difficulties related to sleep disturbance and fatigue. Being tired few days after landing may sometimes make your short holiday much less pleasant. So here my my own tricks how to deal with a jet lag.

Stay focused

Jet lag is a condition that is much easier to deal with, when you know what to expect and what to do. The main problem is that your body clock is not at the same as the time zone, which means you need to act against your instinct. What I mean is that your body sends you signals of being tired and sleepy or on the contrary not sleepy at all and – to some extent – you need to ignore it.

Just like my flight from London to Los Angeles: it took me 11h to arrive and I crossed as many as 9 time zones. I landed in early evening which for my body was the middle of the night. In this case it was already dark after landing which increases my feeling of being sleepy.

Adjust your watch

You need to do all you can to adjust to the new time zone. So you should never leave the previous time on your watch. I used to do this in the past because I thought it will allow me to feel better when I knew what time is in my original time zone to understand how tired I should feel. The moment when a pilot or flight attendent gives you a new time is the right moment to adjust your watch.

Stick to the plan

Do all you can to go to bed in new time zone. It is the difficult part: you often feel devastated in early afternoon and keeping awake next 6h seems almost impossible. I know this is not easy but you need to stick to the plan. I remember when I arrived to New Zealand after 30 h flight (with 2 connected flights) and it was 9:00 a.m. in the morning. It was almost impossible to go through the day. So what I did was I rented a bike and spent all day outside the apartment. Fresh air and physical activities are very helpful in staying awake. The worse you can do is stay in a hotel, sit on the bad and surf the internet.

Last night when I landed in LA I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. which was late enough. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. but the real trick is not to allow yourself to start the day at 3:00 a.m. just because you feel not sleepy. So what I did was reading few chapters of a book and then I switched the light off and slept until 7:30 a.m. I feel great, energetic and ready to start exploring California!

I hope you will find these tricks useful.

About the author

I get easily fascinated with people and places. I am passionately curious. I get often seduced with the beauty of nature. Blue sky, pure water, white snow and endless horizon seams to be enough to make me happy.

View all articles by Agata Mleczko
  • kamischka

    I have no problems with changing time zones going west but the other way around in a pain! Last year after coming back from Canada it took me 2 weeks to get used to the Polish time zone, there was no way to fall asleep around midnight when my body though it’s only 6pm… Looks like you chose the good direction for your around the world trip ;)

    • Thanks Kamila! You’re totally right. I find going west much easier to manage that the other way around. And traveling AROUND the world does the trick!

  • Na szczęście ja też nie mam z tym problemów. Ale chwilowe rozregulowanie jak najbardziej może wystąpić.

  • mam wrażenie, że na mnie Jet Lag nie działa. Pamiętam mój 15 godzinny lot z trzema międzylądowaniami z San Francisco na wschodnie wybrzeże USA, później godzinka w samochodzie i znajomy od razu zawiózł nas na domową imprezę – nie było czasu na nawet na prysznic. Impreza trwała do późnych godzin porannych :) fajnie było.

  • Emiwdrodze

    czasem ten jet lag pomaga potem we wczesnym wstawaniu, u mnie się to do kilku tygodni po przylocie czasem utrzymuje i bardzo to sobie chwalę :)

  • Na mnie chyba też jetlag przestał działać. Kiedyś to była tragedia, a teraz po prostu nic ;) Ale z tych czasów, kiedy było ciężko, pamiętam jedną rzecz – trzeba się zmarnować do granic pierwszego dnia, organizm traci orientację.

  • Na szczęście nie mam tego problemu, w którąkolwiek stronę podróżuje. Ale tez bez względu na to czy jestem w domu czy na drugim końcu swiata nie potrafię zasnąć na dłużej niż kilka minut w dzien, w samolocie czy innych miejscach. W związku z tym z jednej strony organizm jest wystarczająco zmęczony po długim locie albo widzi dzien i tez nie zaśnie ;)

  • Great tips thanks, they will be very useful as I’m flying from Amsterdam to New Zealand in 2 weeks time.

    • Are you in NZ in two weeks? How about a meeting?

  • Sophie’s World

    Well, I’m writing this at 4am – a clear case of jetlag, but a westwards one, and I quite like getting heaps of things done before anyone is up. Going east is much more difficult, isn’t it… Staying outdoors is a good idea, can’t be too near that tempting bed :)

  • Christopher Null

    On a trip to Hossegor, France a few years back to visit a surfing tournament, I summoned the will immediately after arriving to go for a run down the beach partly to scout the tournament location and partly it was the beginning of a marathon training schedule. There was no better way to get the lay of the land, it set the tone for my body and mind right from the start and has always been a memory of my most favorite run ever. You’re right. Get outside and be active is definitely the key to beating jet lag.

  • Good tips! We always try to stick to the plan and carry on with the day, if we just stop and have a nap it gets even worse to adjust to the new time.