Top tips for Jet lag
The following post was created from the air space lounge at San Diego Airport, where I was just about to board my flight to London and then back to Luxembourg.
So I wanted to talk to you about jet lag. I had been traveling for six days and nine times zones and I know a lot of you are traveling regularly with jet lag as well. So I wanted to give you a couple of tips that I find can help to beat jet lag.
One of the things that I find very interesting, is that generally you need one day to adjust to two time zones. You can calculate in advance how many days it will take you to get totally acclimatized. If you can, you could adjust your bedtime accordingly in advance, so either going to bed earlier or later, two hours everyday. That way you would be adjusted.
Unfortunately for me and for many of you that's not possible, because we just have a busy schedule. So here are a couple of other things that you can do. Your best friend is light. I always recommend landing when it's daytime rather than nighttime. Do everything possible to help you with light. You can get some light blocking glasses. You have daylight blocking glasses that reduce artificial light. I just met a company that I really liked called True Dark. They create glasses for day- and nighttime protecting you against blue light. That's something that you can look into. You wear them when you're looking at your screen or when you are in an environment, where there's a lot of artificial light. About 30 minutes before going to bed, you can also wear the nighttime ones. They will help to really make sure that your Melatonin can build up, as that is being regulated by your circadian rhythm; your biological clock, which is in the end regulated by light.
The next tip is something I've done, which is you can regulate your meals according to the new time zone. That can also help because your hunger and daytime circadian rhythm are all connected very closely together. Having your meals in your new time zone is very important and then obviously really try to stick to your new schedule as much as you can. I know it's really tough.
Next is to have a sleep mask with you and being able to stay in the complete dark when you are landing in your new time zone is crucial, because when I go to California, I'm obviously going to be awake at 3:00 AM, because that's nearly the afternoon for me. Having a sleep mask and earplugs is really, really critical for me so that I can stay asleep until 5:00 AM, which is in the afternoon for me and I managed to do that; yet I was still absolutely crushing at 5:00 PM. So then I actually use caffeine. I had a really big Americano at 5:00 PM to stay awake.
The first night I went to bed at 10:00 PM and then the second night I went to bed at 11:00 PM.
But don't go and have a nap during the day if you can. If you really think you're going to crash, set a timer for 20 minutes, no more than that and work with caffeine in the afternoon to help you stay awake.
Going back is more difficult for me. Now that I go back to Luxembourg, it's going to be more difficult, because I have to get up much earlier. I have to get up in the middle of the night, California time. So what you can do is, as soon as you land start working with light. Also, as soon as I get off from the plane, I'm going to brush my teeth. You can also set your watch immediately to the time that you're going to land at, so that even when you board the plane and you psychologically look at the time, it's the new time that you're going to go to and that can also help. Another important tip is that you need to have a schedule that allows you to plow through.
Usually I'm not a big caffeine fan, but during those times, use it. Use Caffeine if you need to go to sleep when you really think you can't, use an eye mask, ear plugs, and you can use 1.5 - 3 mgs Melatonin
30 minutes before the time you want to go to sleep. Again, Melatonin is not a sleeping pill. I actually prefer to suggest 5-HTP, which is more potent. I did a different post on this, but 5-HTP is something I would rather suggest. Use it 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep, just to help your circadian rhythm to get adjusted again. Stay really hydrated and try not to drink alcohol, as it's going to dehydrate you and make you even more tired when you're awake after your long trip.
A quick recap:
- 1Light. I always recommend landing when it's daytime rather than nighttime and get daylight blocking glasses
- 2Regulate your meals according to the new time zone
- 3Use a sleep mask and earplugs
- 5Set your watch to the time that you're going to land at your destination
- 6Take Melatonin or 5-HTP
- 7Have a schedule that allows you to plow through once landed
- 8Hydrated well and try not to drink alcohol, as it will dehydrate you
That's pretty much it. There are more tips that are going to follow, but you can also find them in my book.