Jet lag is a real thing, especially when traveling long distances across time zones. Some folks find that jet lag has the worst effects when traveling east; others swear traveling west is what hits them hardest. Regardless of what side of the argument you are on, the jet lag will hit you at some point in your journey.

airplane beat jet lag

Having traveled across continents and oceans many times, these are some of the things I have found are simple but effective ways to try and help you cope with the effects of jet lag.

1. Sleep on the Plane

A lot of people won't be able to do this, but for those who can, this is step one. Understand the clock (local time) that you are trying to attune to. If you find yourself airborne during what should be sleep time in the local area, you should do everything you can to sleep on the plane. If you can do this successfully, it will make your experience much better. If you need a sleep aid, some are available over the counter at local convenience stores that could help quite a bit.

2. Take a Cat Nap Upon Landing

If you have the ability after a long red-eye, try to take a cat nap to help your body recover a bit. I highly recommend you set an alarm so you don't sleep for more than 60-75 minutes. Any further sleep will make your body start to totally shut down for a nights worth of sleep, and trying to wake up won't go well. If you nap for too long, you will feel super groggy all day. A short nap can be re-energizing though, so give that a shot if you can.

3. Stay Active

If you can't sleep, stay moving all day. Make sure your day is busy on location, keeping you moving so you don't really focus on the fatigue. You should be able to trick your body into thinking you're good to go. Just make sure you get enough rest the following night to recoup, and you will be good to go. 

4. Drink Coffee

If you need to, a little bit of liquid energy can work just fine. Caffeine is a drug that will keep you bopping along all day long!

5. Plan Ahead

When trying to deal with jet lag especially on your way back home, it may be smartest to plan ahead. If you can, take an additional day off of work upon arrival home to sleep, re-energize, and get back into the groove. If you fly halfway across the world on Sunday, don't plan on going into work the next day. You will thank yourself for it!