07/30/2015 10:06 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Simple Body Hacks to Avoid Jet Lag

Flickr/David Boyle

By: Joe McGauley

It's easy to get pumped about traveling abroad, but if you've ever been punished with a crippling case of jet lag, you know the struggle to reboot your body clock in unfamiliar territory is very real.

Fortunately, these simple body hacks can help you curb and prevent the pains of trans-time zone travel. You'll be hopping off the plane and raring to go in no time.

More: The Real Dangers of Flying, According to a Pilot

Credit: Flickr/Trafalgar Lio

1. Get a jump on your time zone adjustment
If you can swing it, start moving your routine forward or backward an hour or two, depending on where you'll be headed. Start going to bed earlier/later and shifting your meal times. Even a little preparation can pay off big time and help you hit the ground running without any hiccups.

2. Adjust your watch ahead of time
Setting your watch to the local time of your destination a day or two before will help reinforce the notion of living like you're already there.

Credit: Flickr/Basheer Tome

3. Avoid the sunny side of the plane
If possible, book yourself a seat on the side of the plane that won't be sun-soaked during the flight so it's easier to sleep. This site will help you figure that out. Though if that's not possible, take advantage of the (usually) gratis eye mask or bring a pair of comfortable sunglasses to make it easier to drift off.

4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
As tempting as it may be to down a half-dozen mini bottles of vino with an espresso chaser on your transatlantic journey, you'll be paying for it when you land. Stick to water and you'll step off the plane with your best foot forward.

5. Adjust your light schedule
As part of your travel prep, force your circadian rhythms to adjust to your new time zone by seeking or depriving yourself of light during designated periods. It can be a little tricky to track the schedule in your head, but thankfully there's both a website and an app designed to keep you on point.

To learn 5 more body hacks essential for keeping your sleep cycle in check, head over to!

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