How to get over jet lag after long international flights

Is jet lag taking away your time and fun of having a vacation? Want to know how you can get over the jet lag after you fly from India to the U.S or from the U.S to India? Check out the best tips to deal with jet lag on long haul flights.

Traveling to new / different time zone results in jet lag. You get irritated as it takes away your valuable time and fun from your vacation. Drowsiness, irregular sleeping hours, sluggishness and fatigue after a long international flight are known as jet lag.

Medically, jet lag is referred to as desynchronosis - a condition that is caused due to long travels across different time zones. The body (biological) clock that sets and regulates your sleep and waking gets disrupted due to long international travels. The body remains on the original biological schedule for few days and takes time to adjust to the new time zone. There are digestive upsets, fatigue, sleeplessness and irritability. There are some extreme cases that cause memory lapses.

According to some experts, you experience jet lag more when you travel eastward. The reason: you lose several hours in a day. Your body takes more time to adjust to the time change. However, when you travel west, there is a gain of several hours and your body gets the extra time to naturally come out of the jet lag. Generally it takes 3 to 7 days for the body to fully come out of jet lag.

Basically, the body works on a 24-hour cycle which is called the 'circadian rhythms' When you travel to a different time zone, the natural biological clock gets affected. As a result, the 24-hour cycle slows down, i.e. takes time to adjust to the new time zone, thus causing jet lag.

Though you cannot fully prevent jet lag, yet you can lessen the effect of jet lag by keeping yourself hydrated and staying comfortable in long international flights

Tips to get over jet lag

  • With slight adjustments in your daily routine a few days before and after your travel can help in minimizing jet lag. Try to set your biological clock few days before your travel to match with the time zone of your destination. For instance, if you are travelling from the U.S to India (i.e eastwards), set your biological clock accordingly. Have an early lunch, early dinner and go to bed time early a few days before the travel. Your mindset gradually adapts to the new time zone you are travelling to and this would lessen your jet lag on reaching your destination place.

  • Prepare yourself / your mind for the long international travel and, as mentioned earlier, try to set your biological clock according to the time zone you are traveling to.

  • Wear comfortable clothes, use a neck pillow if your are comfortable and use eye masks (blindfolds) / ear plugs while sleeping during the flight. This helps in reducing the distractions while sleeping and you may have a sound sleep.

  • Avoid consuming too much of coffee / tea or alcoholic drinks in the flight. However, keep yourself hydrated.

  • On reaching the destination, do not confine yourself indoors as this makes your more drowsy and sleepy but go / stay outdoors. Sunlight is an effective stimulant that helps in regulating the biological clock.

It's not a difficult task but just a slight change in your daily routine which can help you to come out of jet lag.

Article by Kalyani
Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active lead editor at for over 2 years. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.

Follow Kalyani or read 227 articles authored by Kalyani

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