How to Avoid Jet Lag

(So You Can Enjoy Your Honeymoon)

A honeymoon gives you the chance to escape and simply enjoy your new spouse. If your honeymoon destination takes you far from home, you don’t want jetlag to get in the way of taking in everything your honeymoon as to offer. Good preparation along with a few sleep tips can help you adjust to local time so you can enjoy the sights.

1. Change Your Sleep Schedule Before You Leave

With all your wedding plans, this might seem like a hard one, but you’ll thank yourself after you’ve reached your destination. About four days before you leave for your honeymoon, start adjusting your sleep schedule. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet to eliminate distractions. Your bed should have a firm, supportive mattress that doesn’t wake you in the night with aches and pains. If the time difference is significant enough, you can adjust your bedtime by 30-60 minutes more each day until you’re about where you’ll need to be while on your honeymoon.

2. Adjust Your Meal Times

The body uses regular routines, like mealtimes, to help control your internal clock. Adjusting your meal schedule can help your body fit in with the local time at your honeymoon destination. Like your sleep schedule, you might need to change the times more each day if you’re traveling far enough.

3. Look for Overnight Flights

Overnight flights give you the best chance of arriving refreshed and ready to explore your destination. Sleeping on an overnight flight best follows your regular schedule, so it’s not as much of a shock to your system. You might arrive in the morning or afternoon at your destination but you’ll be rested enough to stay awake until the evening.

4. Get on Your Feet

If you’re going to need to sleep once you get to your destination, use your flying time wisely. You can’t do a full exercise routine, but you can get up, stretch your legs, and walk up and down the aisle once in a while. Make sure you won’t disturb the flight attendants while they serve food or meals and be sure the seat belt signs are off.

5. Stay Hydrated

While flying, try to drink eight ounces of water for each hour you fly. Hydration plays a part in your fatigue level, and the recirculated air on an airplane can dry you out. You’ll feel less tired and ready to go if you can keep yourself well hydrated.

6. Avoid Stimulants and Eat Light

The caffeine in coffee, soda, and energy drinks temporarily blocks sleep hormones, which can get in the way of adjusting your internal clock. You might stay awake longer but once it’s time to fall asleep, caffeine often causes the wakefulness that can make it hard to get a solid night’s rest. Stop caffeine consumption about 12 hours before flying to make sure it’s completely out of your system. Skip heavy or fried foods and try not to overeat as it can make you feel drowsy or throw off your eating schedule.

7. Get Some Sunshine

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, get out in the sun. Your body uses sunlight to control its circadian rhythms. These regular 24-hour cycles influence your sleep-wake cycle, appetite, and hormones. Exposure to natural light helps your body adjust to your current time zone. As it gets dark, your body will start to release melatonin and other sleep-inducing hormones.

 

Ellie Porter
Managing Editor | SleepHelp.org
ellie@sleephelp.org