Maybe you pictured taking the Louvre by storm the minute you stepped off that plane in Paris, but though your mind's willing, your body's not. When you travel to a new time zone, your internal clock needs time to adjust. Insomnia, fatigue, lack of appetite at meals and a ravenous appetite at the wrong times are all signs of jet lag.
Drink plenty of water as you travel to your destination and after you arrive. If you are dehydrated, it will take you longer to adapt to the new time zone.
Sleep on the plane to be alert and awake if you will be arriving in the morning or early afternoon. Stay awake on the plane to be sleepy upon arrival if you'll reach your destination in the evening or at night.
If you arrive at your final destination in the morning, try to stay awake all day. Drink small amounts of coffee, tea or caffeinated soda to wake you up (too much caffeine will further disrupt your sleep cycle). Keep napping to a minimum.
If you arrive in the evening, go to sleep at your normal bedtime according to the new time zone. That is, if your bedtime at home is 11 p.m., go to bed at that time in your new location. You may want to ask your doctor to recommend an over-the-counter sleeping aid.
If your trip is shorter than 48 hours, schedule meetings according to your home time zone. If the new time zone is 3 hours ahead of your normal time, schedule late morning or afternoon meetings when you will be awake and alert. For example, a 1 p.m. meeting is at 10 a.m. according to your internal clock.
Expose yourself to bright light and exercise in the morning in the new time zone. This helps reset your internal clock.
Eat small meals throughout the day while you adjust to the new mealtimes. Keep a snack by your bed if your regular dinnertime occurs in the middle of the night in the new time zone.
Give your body time to make the switch. If you feel very drowsy during the day, take a nap for up to one hour, but make sure it's before evening. Avoid pushing yourself too hard during the first few days.