Overcome Jetlag Faster
If you fly across more than 2 time zones, you’re likely to experience jetlag. The misalignment between the timing of your body’s internal clock, and the timing of your new sleep and wake schedule in the new time zone, is the main contributor to this phenomenon.
Until your body’s clock synchronizes with the new environment, your mood and your mental and physical performance are at risk of being impaired or altered. Understanding how to adjust your body’s clock faster, and understanding how to better deal with the symptoms of jetlag while it’s occurring, are important to help you perform better in the new time zone and get back into peak form as soon as possible.
Key Considerations When Planning Your Trip
Consider these factors when planning your strategies to overcome jetlag:
- Direction of travel: Are you traveling eastward or westward? The direction of travel determines the timing of the strategies you’ll use.
- Time at destination: Are you staying at your destination for more days than the number of time zones you cross? If so, you’ll benefit from synchronizing your body’s clock with the new time zone as fast as possible. If not, you won’t be attempting to shift your body’s clock, but instead, you’ll simply focus on dealing with the causes of travel fatigue, like boosting alertness during the daytime and facilitating sleep at night. In other words, you won’t be making efforts to adjust the timing of your body’s clock to the new time zone, but rather, you’ll be making specific efforts to deal with the consequences of mismatched timing.
- During travel: There are things you can do while in transit to speed your adjustment to the new time zone and limit travel fatigue.
- Before you leave: Do you need to arrive in your new time zone and perform at your best on your first or second day of arrival? If so, you may choose to start adjusting your body’s clock to the destination time zone before you leave home.
Note: Trying to adjust your body’s clock before you leave isn’t always the best approach. If you have a few low-stress days to adjust once you arrive, we generally suggest that you wait to start adjusting until you travel.