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How to Overcome Jet Lag

How to Overcome Jet Lag

New York Daily News

Crossing several time zones makes travelers an easy prey for the brain-fogging, energy-zapping disorder known as jet lag. And while nearly everyone’s got advice for how to beat it – ranging from inflight sleeping pills to keeping your watch on the old time – the best remedy is to start resetting your internal clock several days before you leave home.

“Get a good night’s sleep for several nights in advance,” advises Dr. Michael Zimring, co-author of “Healthy Travel.” “If you’ll be traveling east, get up a little earlier and go to bed a little earlier in the several days before you travel. If you are traveling west, go to bed a little later and get up later.”

If this sounds impossible, since you plan to stay up late the night before your trip packing, at least avoid both alcohol and caffeine, which can wreak havoc on sleep habits, Zimring says.

“And when you arrive at your destination, it also helps to avoid heavy meals and heavy exercise near bedtime,” he says.

To help adjust your sleep schedule once you arrive at your destination, don’t go right to your hotel and fall asleep, advises frequent traveler Shaun Malay, senior vice president at, an online travel agency. “Power through that first day, and that will help to reset your clock. And keep in mind what time it is. I wear two watches when I go to Asia, one with the local time and one with the home time.”

Frequent traveler and travel blogger Amy Graff says to try to schedule your flights so as to minimize jet lag.

“The biggest mistake that I made on a recent 10-day trip was to come home on a Sunday night and try to go back to work on Monday,” she recalls. “If you can, plan to come home Friday and give yourself time to recover. Jet lag is often worse after you come home. If you do have to travel home on a Sunday, don’t plan to go to work Monday.”

Travel expert Andria Mitsakos says a lot of jet lag can be prevented with the right foods and beverages.

She drinks two or three liters of water on travel days. “I always purchase water after security,” she says. “I buy at least one small bottle for each hour in flight. I also take this amazing homeopathic tablet called “Not Jet Lag” that you can get in Whole Foods.”

Once Mitsakos arrives at her destination, she tries to get some exercise. “It’s the best way to see a new destination or scope out your favorite spots,” she says.

And, Mitsakos says, adhering to a good beauty routine can help you feel healthy and alert. Inflight, she never wears makeup. Instead, she advises, “Wash your face, apply an excellent eye cream, heavy moisturizer and lip balm. Reapply moisturizer every so often and use a spritzer to keep your skin hydrated. But don’t stop at your face. Any exposed skin should get moisturized.”

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