Don’t Let Jet Lag Crash your Vacation

A lot of us are taking our longer vacations to farther-flung destinations this time of year, setting ourselves up for our greatest adventures but also our worst bouts of jet lag.

Groggy, fatigued and dyspeptic is not how you want to feel while you’re at the Parthenon or whatever other wonder of the world you’re visiting. There are a few steps you can take to loosen its grip and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Adopt your destination’s schedule

Gradually moving your bedtime earlier (or later if you’re heading west) paves the way to a smoother transition once you land. If you’re not able to do this for a few days before you leave, reset your watch as soon as you get on the plane and sleep or don’t sleep according to the time zone you’re bound for.

Stay hydrated

It’s easy to end up dehydrated during air travel between the dryness of the air and the lower air pressure found in the typical cabin. On top of that many of us may reduce our water intake to avoid in-flight bathroom runs, but this can be a self-defeating strategy as dehydration can intensify the effects of jet lag.

It’s a better idea to bring an empty water bottle past airport security that you can fill up before you board the plane, drink any additional water you may need on the plane and give in to that urge if you need to — you don’t want the restroom to be the first thing you’re looking for once you reach your longed-for destination.

Consider melatonin

This is a supplement based on the chemical that helps to signal your brain that it’s time to go to sleep, and it can be taken before you go to bed or early in the morning if you’re waking up earlier than you want to.

You should consult your doctor first to see if any medications you take could have a negative interaction with it, and get your supply from a reputable manufacturer because food supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA.

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