Jet Lag Tips: How to Manage Time Zone Travel
Desperate for jet lag tips? Our team has a heavy travel schedule in the next six weeks which will wreak havoc on our sleep schedule. As we're a company that prioritizes sleep, we've compiled a list of how we deal with the times differences across continents. But before you expect us to be sharing a magic solution — you should be warned that there's no easy way to avoid jet lag if you are traveling across a large number of time zones. The best we can do is to offer some tried and tested tips to manage the jet lag and adjust to the new time zone as easily as possible.
1. Don't leave tired.
Starting off a trip exhausted in hopes of sleeping on the plane or as soon as you land rarely work. Try and get a decent night of sleep before you travel.
2. Sleep or rest on the plane.
If you have a long trip, it might be unrealistic to watch movies or read throughout a long journey without delving into some work, but try and dedicate some of the flight time to sleeping or resting. If you are arriving at your destination at night, it's not advisable to sleep throughout the entire plane ride as you'll want to be tired when you arrive, but some rest will mean you are in better shape when you arrive.
3. Get outside into the daylight.
The sun is known to help reset your internal clock, so getting daylight during times when you would normally be sleeping helps your body adjust to a new time schedule. That means if you are traveling east, get outside in the morning, and if you are traveling west, get outside in the afternoon or evening. If you've got a hectic schedule, aim for a short walk outside during a break or in between appointments.
4. Stay awake until bedtime.
If you arrive to your destination in the morning, try your best to avoid napping and go to sleep at an early bedtime. If you are completely exhausted, you could try a very short power nap early in the day, but beware of taking long naps as they can derail your time zone adjustment and make it longer for you to fall asleep at a normal hour.
5. Be prepared for jet lag to hit hard a day or two in.
We've found that sometimes the exhaustion of the travel means we get a decent night of sleep the first night, and then the jet lag hits the second night. If you are in the habit of getting jet lag a day or two in, prepare for this by ensuring your schedule is slightly flexible, and you don't have any early morning or late meetings (depending on the direction you travelled.)
If your trip is short and your schedule can manage it, you could simply avoid adjusting to the new time zone and stay in your home time. While this is tricky to manage, especially with large time differences, it can be done under the right conditions. But don't forget, no matter how good the jet lag tips, we've never managed to avoid at least one 4am wakeup during a transatlantic trip.
- The Sleep Shirt