Avoiding Jet Lag


How can you help your body adjust to a new time zone?

Before You Depart...

  • Go to bed earlier than usual for a few nights before departure. Take naps on the plane.
  • Eat lightly the night before.

After You Land...

  • After you land, continue drinking lots of water. Just cause the flight is over doesn't mean the effects are no longer felt. Rehydration can take a few days, as can adjustments to sleeping and eating patterns.
  • It bears repeating: Drink water—and lots of it to combat the dehydrating effects of air travel. If your body does not get enough water, the kidneys recycle the water in your own urine, making you more dehydrated but also creating fluid retention and upsetting your entire physiological balance.
  • Get wet. Take a bath, a swim, anything to rehydrate through your pores.
  • In dry climates, leave the water in the sink or tub to help increase the surrounding humidity.
  • Stay in natural light. Your body adapts best to diurnal rhythms if exposed to natural light. Even artificial light will help keep you perky and combat the daytime slumps due to jet lag.
  • Follow our eating and drinking tips: Avoid alcoholic, carbonated and caffeine beverages during the flight.
  • Let your body use its energy to adapt to the new environment. Eat lightly and avoid bogging it down with rich foods. After you land, eat dinner early rather than later so you can enjoy the full effects of a good night's sleep.
  • Stretch before, during and after the trip. Walk the aisles in the plane and walk from gate to gate, instead of relying on people movers or escalators. In flight, ask the attendant for a pillow when you board and use it to keep from getting neck cramps.
  • Don't over-schedule yourself the first day of arrival. Allow your body to ease into its new schedule.

Healthy Travel Tips

This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified February 2007

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