How to Avoid Jet Lag, adjust to new time zones easier

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By following a few easy steps, you can avoid or reduce jet lag when traveling to Europe. It doesn't work for everyone, but it may help you enjoy your first day abroad instead of feeling like you want to sleep when everyone else is ready for lunch.

When you board the plane, change your watch to be same time zone of your ultimate destination.

Some people feel better if they sleep on the plane when it's nighttime at their final destination. You may not be tired so try using ear plugs and eye covers to help reduce distractions.

Others prefer to stay awake the entire flight to "trick" your body into not knowing what time it is. While you may be dragging when you arrive, going through customs will definitely wake you up.

Drink plenty of water. The air on planes is extremely dry, and dehydration can worsen the effects of jet lag.

Eat the meals as they are served; typically as you get closer to the final city, airlines will adjust the types of meals to that at the local city. You'll be eating breakfast prior to landing, even though everyone at home is just going to bed.

Exercise as much as you can during the flight. Stretch your legs, walk around the aircraft. You can do leg lifts from the seat if turbulent weather requires you to stay seated.

Stay up all day at your final destination. If needed, taking a short 60-90 minute nap between 4:00-5:00 will be enough to help you get through the rest of the day.

Eat a light meal mid-evening, and go to bed around 10:00. You should feel refreshed and ready to go when you alarm goes off in the morning!

Tips & Warnings

  • Request an aisle seat on the aircraft when you book your flight. This makes it easy to get up and move around a lot without bothering others.
  • Get up and ask for more water instead of having the flight attendant bring it to you.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages as much as possible on the plane - they increases dehydration which has a major affect on jet lag.
  • Avoid sleeping pills - they will throw off you normal sleep cycle making if much more difficult to adjust.

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