So three days later, I’m still fighting some residual jet lag.
Usually when we travel we’re going west to east, which means the potential for jet lag is higher at the beginning of our vacation. The east-to-west return home is usually a piece of cake. One or two days and my clock is fully re-set. I show up for work the day after we arrive home bright-eyed and ready to attack some spreadsheets.
However, on this trip, our return journey was the west-to-east, covering 15 time zones. (The biggest time difference I’ve dealt with prior to this was 9 hours.) It’s taking a bit longer after this trip to feel fully myself; I’m fine in the mornings, but around 3pm I start to get a bit groggy, and I have yet to sleep through the night completely.
It’s probably not as bad as it might have been, as I’ve developed some strategies that seem to work to minimize jet lag.
- Upon arrival, I spend as much time in natural light as possible, and stay awake until normal “bedtime” in the destination time zone. Walking a lot also helps. When traveling to Europe we generally arrive in the morning or mid-day; dropping luggage at the hotel and then spending a few hours walking outdoors resets my body clock pretty effectively.
- I limit my alcohol consumption in transit and on arrival, as while a glass of wine generally helps me fall asleep, it often results in interrupted sleep a few hours later.
- I also avoid heavy meals on the plane and for the first few hours after we arrive.
- Limit naps to a very short duration.
- Melatonin at bedtime helps re-set my sleep cycle.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink as much water as I can tolerate. Tea, too.
If you travel across multiple time zones, how do you deal with jet lag?