Jet lag happens when you are in the time zone of destination but your body is still living in your time zone of origin. For most people, jet lag is worse flying east than when flying west. There are many ways to minimize the effects of jet lag. Some methods work better for some people than for others:
- Drink plenty of fluids before you fly, in flight, and after you land. When I fly, water is my beverage of choice.
- Alcohol can make jet lag worse, so avoid it.
- Sunlight helps reset your body clock. Spend some time out of doors the day you land and every day.
Pills? For some people, melatonin helps. This is secreted naturally by the body, but you can also buy it in pill form. You take the pill 7-8 hours before your new wake-up time at your destination. It tricks the body into thinking it's time to rise 7-8 hours after you have taken it. Sleeping pills can also be helpful. They make it easier to fall back asleep in case you wake up in the middle of the night.
On the other hand, nothing beats exercise. This will keep your circulation up and you will feel less drowsy.
- Comparing times: On a psychological note, when abroad I've found it's helpful not to begin sentences, "Now, let's see... back home it's ___ o'clock..." Don't even think about it! (Unless you are phoning home, in which case you had better think about it!) Live on local time.