If there’s one part of travel I dislike the most, it’s probably jet lag. No matter where I’ve gone, jetlag always gets in my way of having a good first day. When I went to China and Australia, for instance, I slept for the first day of each trip (although that had something to do with the fact I didn’t sleep on the plane). And recently in Portland, it worked in our favor since we got up at the crack of dawn every day. I’ve tried a lot of remedies in the past for jet lag, including melatonin and dramamine to sleep, watching movies the whole way there, and wearing an eye mask while listing to podcasts during the flight. So I was interested when I came across this article in the Travel section of the New York Times about jet lag research done at Harvard.
Most of it is common sense, like get enough sleep or try to start acclimating your body to the new sleep schedule before leaving, but the part that I found most intriguing was about how much light you let into your eyes. Wearing sunglasses in an airport would probably make me look kind of silly, but I might try it next time to limit the amount of light when I’m traveling east. I guess alcohol and spicy foods are also out for my first night on vacation… For more tips, the article links to some sleeping tips on the Healthy Sleep site at Harvard.
What do you do to combat jet lag? Any tricks that you’ve found to help on trans-continental trips?