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The 4-Step Solution to Beating Jet Lag

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Peter flies more than 400,000 miles a year, which means he cycles through multiple time zones in one week. Here’s the thing, he doesn’t suffer from jet lag. And you don’t have to either.

Follow this four-step plan to combat cramped seats, interrupted schedules and basic sleep deprivation so that you can beat jet lag and hit the ground running:

Before You Go:

Flying west to east is harder on your body clock, so prepare yourself by waking up and going to bed earlier for a few days before your trip.

Try to arrange for early evening arrivals so you can sleep the night in your hotel.

Set your watch to the destination time zone.

As You Fly:

Avoid alcohol: It may induce drowsiness, but usually results in a fragmented sleep.

Avoid caffeine: It takes a few days to clear caffeine from you body, but definitely avoid it at least 6 hours before bedtime.

Eat high-protein breakfasts and lunches, and high-carbohydrate dinners to increase your levels of sleep-inducing serotonin.

When You arrive:

If it’s still light out when you arrive at your destination, take a walk to suppress your body’s natural melatonin production and reset your body clock.

No matter what time you arrive, you MUST stay up until 11 pm local time. If you succumb to the temptation of that 3 p.m. nap, no one will know where you are—including you—for three days. Stay awake. Stay active. Do anything you would like, but do not sleep until 11 pm. You won’t cycle entirely the first night, but you WILL cycle by the second night. You should repeat this process for your flight home too.

Leave the shades open on your hotel room windows. That way your room is flooded with natural light first thing in the morning.

What You Eat:

The best way to counteract jet-lag-induced hunger is very simple: sleep well and drink water.

This is a tough one, but wherever, and whenever possible, no main meal eating after 8 p.m. That will help not only your sleep habits, but also your waistline.

By Peter Greenberg for

Featured photo credit: Cathay Pacific