I’ve never found a magic cure for jetlag. I really don’t suffer too badly going to or returning from Europe. If I take an overnight flight I just have to force myself to stay up, a short name mid-afternoon is fine but I can’t let myself go to sleep otherwise. The key of course is to adopt the local time as quickly as possible. Coming home from Europe I’m just tired early, and that can last a couple of days, but I’m otherwise fully functional. Similarly coming home from Asia is no big deal, I love making it back mid-day rather than late at night or else I’ll suffer for 24 hours. But my real challenge is going to Asia. I show up and though I may be tired at night I will wake up in the middle of the night. And I’ll be up. And it’ll just take maybe four days to stop doing that.
Still, there are certainly some best practices to adapt better and more quickly to a new time zone and avoid jetlag.
- If taking a redeye flight, especially one that’s shorter than US East Coast to Asia, don’t drink caffeine and try to get to sleep right away.
- This is an easy one to say, and one that my regular readers will appreciate, but one that will come off as extremely pretentious to those dropping in here for the first time (who don’t realize that reading this blog will very much help you accomplish this top!): Don’t fly coach. That alone makes a huge difference, both in ability to sleep and in general relaxation/stress mitigation level.
- Many folks report good success taking No Jet-Lag pills. It may be a placebo, but anecdotally they seem to work.
- Drink a lot of water. Avoid alcohol, and if you do drink then you need all the more water.
- Try to adjust to the new time zone the day before flying out. Continue to adjust to the local time by sleeping or forcing yourself to stay awake during the flight.
- Take a shower on arrival and change clothes. Then stay up until bedtime local time, no matter how tired. A quick nap is OK, but that’s it. If it’s sunny, take a nice long walk.
Last week I got an email from the Cherry Marketing Institute (@choosecherries) and they’re promoting the idea that tart cherries provide a natural dose of melatonin, which should be good for preventing jetlag and adjusting to local time.
They passed along some research that suggests these cherries are a good way to get the melatonin that helps regulate biorhythm and sleep patterns. They suggest melatonin an hour prior to sleep time on the plane and for three evenings after arrival. And of course dried cherries can be taken through all but the most respect my authoritah checkpoints.
I don’t know whether it’ll work or not, but they want folks to try it and are sponsoring a giveaway to prove their point. One blog reader will win:
. A four lb bag of dried cherries
. A Kashmere red pillow case-socks-shawl travel set
. A Tory Burch Cosmetic Case
. A Cherry Marketing Institute tote bag
Just leave a comment to this post by noon Eastern on Monday July 5 about how you deal with jetlag, one comment per person, and one commenter will be chosen at random to win the prize. Any questions? Drop me an email.