01/02/2014 12:56 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Tips for Getting Over Jet Lag


Sailing in Europe? Plan ahead so that jet lag doesn't cause you to miss key sights, such as London's Big Ben. Photo by anshar / Shutterstock.

No matter how much you travel, jet lag can be a challenge. Your internal clock is thrown off, so instead of wanting to explore a new port, you may feel sluggish, lethargic, and ready for bed. Crossing time zones without crawling under the covers early requires tough resolve, but we have seven tips to help you adjust more quickly.

1. Book your flight thoughtfully.

We suggest choosing your flight time based on jet lag concerns. For example, if you're flying east to catch a Mediterranean cruise, select a flight that departs in the late evening rather than one that leaves in the afternoon. That way, you'll be more likely to sleep on the plane and arrive feeling rested.

2. Sleep well the night before your flight.

To get your body ready for what will inevitably be an exhausting 48 hours, make sure you're well rested so you'll be better able to handle the stress.

3. Be prepared.

If you have an overnight flight, make falling asleep in flight as easy as possible. Pack earplugs, an eye mask, a travel pillow, and your most snooze-worthy book to ensure you'll get some shut-eye.

4. Don't nap.

Although it may seem like the best idea at the time, napping in the middle of the day will only further confuse your internal clock. Once you arrive at your destination, try your best to stay awake throughout the day, even if that means sticking to low-energy activities and going to sleep earlier in the evening than you would at home.

*For more tips on getting over jet lag, see the expanded article at

By Polina Myagkov, Contributing Writer

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