You might think the excitement of landing in a foreign country will make up the difference in your internal time clock. It probably won’t work that way. When you fly away to that dream vacation, get ready before you leave, during the flight and when you arrive to reset your clock so you can both enjoy the days and sleep well at night.
Before You Go
Take Care Of Yourself. You’re caught up in the excitement of getting ready, but slow down a bit. Eat right, get plenty of sleep and don’t forget to exercise. You may think it’s OK to board that plane tired out, but instead of helping you sleep, it may make you restless and wide awake. The truth is that the better you feel, the better you’ve taken care of yourself before leaving, the less jet lag you’ll experience.
Start Changing Your Bedtime. Try to jumpstart getting in sync with your new location. No, you can’t turn day into night, but you can go to bed an hour earlier for several nights if you’re heading east or an hour later if you’re heading west. Do it again, but in reverse, when you’re several days away from heading home.
Take Your Pillow. You can’t take your own bed, but you can take your pillow and it may make a big difference in helping you sleep while you are away. You don’t want to sink into a soft feather pillow at the hotel if you love your memory foam pillow or vice versa. So, take this important sleep aid with you.
On the Plane
Set Your Watch. Start getting ready. Set your watch to the time of your destination – and try to change your mindset to sync up with that time. One word of caution, if you are on medicine that needs to be taken at certain intervals, talk to your doctor about how to handle the time change.
Don’t Eat, Drink And Be Merry. Watch what you eat and drink. Be as healthy as possible. Limit both caffeine and alcohol that may work against you.
Indulge – in water. Dehydration may make jet lag worse so don’t limit water intake – and those walks down the aisle to the bathroom are good for you, too.
When you Arrive
Keep The First Day Light. If you’re traveling for business, it’s not the day to schedule that very important meeting. If you’re going to have fun, don’t schedule that trip to the biggest and best museum. Think about walking and getting acclimated gently.
Get Some Sun. Light and dark are what sets our body rhythm so plan on some outdoor time if you arrive by day.
Go Local. Try to live and play by the local time. If you must nap, keep it very short. Try to stay awake and active until at least 9 p.m. local time and you’ll get a head start on enjoying your vacation.
One last hint, if every bed in every hotel feels better than your own, maybe it’s time for a new bed when you get home. You could even use that smartphone or tablet to shop for a wonderful new Latex Foam bed while you’re traveling. You’ll be amazed at the savings. Plus, that delightful new mattress will be waiting to give you a great night’s sleep on your return and to help you get back in the groove of your real, non-vacation life!