How To Maintain Proper Diet and Sleep Times while Traveling through Multiple Time Zones

#TimeZoneTravel  #ExtendedAirTravel  #JetLagRelief

You can’t prevent jet lag, but you can ease the symptoms. Typically, it takes about one day per time zone for your body clock to adjust. Jet lag is also more intense traveling east than west.

 Here’s some advice from sleep experts and frequent travelers.



Book a red-eye. That way you’re more likely to have a normal night’s sleep. Another option is to book flights so you arrive at your destination in the evening, closer to bedtime.

Shift your “internal” clock. Before you leave home, adjust your bed and meal times by one hour each night for each time zone you’ll be traveling. Schedule earlier times for eastward travel and later times for going west.



Reset your watch. As soon as you’re on the plane, set your watch to the destination’s time and “get your mind into that zone.”

man using smart watch displaying various timesGETTY IMAGE


Eat meals on local time. Your body may think it’s 3 a.m., but if it’s 8 a.m. at your destination, and you’re awake on the plane, go ahead and eat breakfast. This will help you adjust to your new time zone. We suggest you bring along snacks with protein in case the in-flight meal is not to your liking.

Choose the right foods. Don’t eat foods that make you feel bloated, full or, you know … gassy. Qantas Airways on their longer flights (over 12 hours) has introduced a new menu to combat jet lag and encourage sleep. The menu includes dishes with ingredients that promote hydration — such as green leafy vegetables, cucumbers and strawberries; light dishes (including a tuna poke salad bowl); and hot chocolate for bedtime, which contains tryptophan to make you sleepy.

Chug some H2O. Your best beverage option is water, water, and more water. Some of the tiredness is actually dehydration. Drink eight ounces of water for every hour that you fly.  Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it forces you to get up and use the restroom, which helps your circulation. A glass of wine is fine, but alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can affect your sleep — and booze can cause dehydration.

Let in some light. Light is the main stimulus for setting our body clocks – if you have a window seat, pull up the blind to let in natural light.

Make sure you’re comfy. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to rest. Always dress comfortably and in layers to stay warm or cool. Stock your smartphone with soothing sounds (beach sounds) and pre-download TV shows or movies that help you relax and tune out potential noisy neighbors. Carry a travel pillow, eye mask and clean socks.

Sleep strategically. Align your sleep with the destination time rather than your departure time. You should avoid sleeping for longer than a 30-minute power nap. The goal is to adjust your body to the new time zone as quickly as possible. It may be a shock that first day, but it will be must easier for your body to adjust.



Avoid long naps. If you arrive early in a new time zone, try to stay up — and don’t nap for longer than two hours, the National Sleep Foundation suggests. Adhere to the schedule of your destination – eat when people are eating and sleep when they’re sleeping.

Go outside. Sunlight helps your body clock adjust to a new time zone. Spend time outside in the morning if you traveled east or in the afternoon if you traveled west. Take B12 the first few mornings for energy.

Take melatonin at night. Take melatonin about 30 minutes before you go to bed (check with your doctor first). As little as a 0.5 mg dose can ease jet-lag symptoms, one study found.


Getaway Dreams Come True Travel will assist you in determining best flight times so that you can enjoy your destination immediately. Additionally, you may wish to view posted blogs about travel:

TSA Lines-How Soon Should You Arrive Before Flying?

Scheduling Connecting Air Flights

List of “To Dos” Week Prior to Vacation

Hidden Information in Airline Flight Numbers

Hidden Information in Airline Flight Numbers

Essentials for Your Flight

Things to Remember the Day of Departure


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