Imagine counting down the days towards a great trip-that took careful planning and saving-only to step off the plane and want to sleep for three days. Or landing in Dubai and going straight to a meeting where all the participants are discussing very important deals, only to be falling asleep at the conference table.
Jet lag is a common drawback to long-distance travel; symptoms include exhaustion, dry skin, dehydration, muscle tension and time confusion. Here’s some advice on how to fight the fatigue that comes with crossing time zones:
1. Don’t drink alcohol before or during the flight. Alcohol adds to the dehydration and fatigue.
2. Drink a significant amount of water during the flight and upon landing. Water will cut down on the dehydration and can also help with muscle fatigue.
3. As soon as you step on the plane, set your watch for the time that matches that of your destination and sleep according to the location to which you are flying. Thus, if getting on a plane in the afternoon while it is late at night in the city you are flying to, then it’s time to sleep.
4. While sleeping on the plane, sleep as long as possible to create a “nighttime” sleep experience. Use earplugs and light-reducing eye covers if needed.
5. Elevate your feet as much as possible during your flight.
6. Upon arrival, a shower will help refresh and revitalize you. Then, adhere to the local time and try to avoid napping.
7. Try to stay up as late as possible on the first night. If your schedule will require many late nights, try to stay up until at least midnight.
8. Expect the second day to be the most difficult. Remain on schedule at the time of your destination. Request a wake-up call, or set an alarm, for the morning and begin the second day.
9. Try a spa treatment for muscle fatigue and dehydrated skin.
10. If possible, try to spend an hour in sunlight and fresh air on the first day; this will help to reset your body’s internal clock to local time.