Jetlag is one of the major downsides to traveling. Waking up in the middle of the night because your brain is on West Coast time when you’re physically placed in Paris is not fun at all. However, we have discovered some surefire ways to ease your jetlag.
The saying is true – west is best, east is a beast.
There is a reason why this phrase is known amongst travelers, it is easier on the body to travel westward rather than eastward. The farther east you travel the harder the jetlag will be. The reason for the difficulty is that when you travel westward you are gaining time, whereas when you travel eastward you lose it.
Arrive during daylight hours.
If you are in charge of your travel arrangements and can help it, make sure you arrive at your destination during daylight hours as that is the easiest way to stay awake. Once the sun goes down, melatonin starts kicking in on a higher level than when natural, direct and consecutive light is around you.
Don’t drink on the plane.
This is a hard one, especially if the alcohol is free. Alcohol makes us tired, so it’s essentially a sleeping aid. While you may want to sleep on the plane, you have to think of the local time at your destination and not the clock you are currently on. You aren’t meant to be sleeping at 10:00 AM Paris time, despite the fact that your head is on West Coast time – midnight. If, on the other hand, you get on a day flight but it’s nighttime at your destination, do drink on the plane and get tired enough to sleep, it’ll help you adjust to the local time.
Once you put your things in your hotel/apartment, step out.
If you stay indoors you are more likely to bounce right back to the time in your head, whatever time zone that may be. Going outside and doing what you would normally do at that time, will help your body adjust as well.
Melatonin. Melatonin. Melatonin.
If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night after getting back from a long trip, or worse, arriving for a vacation, make sure to take with you 5mg tablets of Melatonin. Melatonin is a natural chemical in our brains that is released when we sleep in order to regulate our sleeping patterns. When you are up at 3:00 AM wide awake because of jetlag, one 5mg pill can ease you back into sleep without the dreadful side effects of a sleeping pill.