I’ve been in Asia for three weeks and I have tips for not getting jet lag for you! Having jet lag on a vacation can prevent you from making the most out of your trip. Waking up a couple hours early when you are visiting California is not a big deal, but wanting to sleep all day when you visit Asia is a problem. Luckily, my husband has helped teach me how to not get jet lag – apparently, when your family lives in three different parts of the planet this becomes an essential life skill. Here are our tips for not getting jet lag:
The first thing to consider is your flight. Consider a stopover! We went to Tokyo on the way to Singapore. It broke up the 24 hours of flight time and I think that made the time adjustment easier. If you are going to Europe, consider flying Icelandair and stopping over in Iceland.
The number one thing on your mind once you board the plane needs to be the time you will land at your destination. For example, when my 11am flight was landing at 2pm (the next day with the time change) in Tokyo, my thought was that I needed to stay up until 8pm after landing. My thought was that I needed to get enough rest so that I could stay awake for 6 hours after landing, I wasn’t obsessing on sleeping during the right times on the flight.
Do some prep work. I knew that the more I slept on my 14-hour flight to Tokyo the better. First off, it helps to pass the time, and secondly, with more sleep I would be able to make an easier adjustment to the time change. But if I went to bed at a normal time the night before my flight… I wouldn’t be able to sleep much on the flight. My solution was to stay up until 3:30am to start getting myself on Tokyo time, and to make myself extra tired for the flight so that I would sleep. I would only suggest doing this if you are going someplace with a 10+ time zone difference.
Over the counter sleeping pills are your friend. I took one as soon as we boarded our flight to Tokyo because it was the middle of the night in Tokyo and sleeping at the beginning of my flight would help get me adjusted to the new time zone. The sleeping pills can also be helpful after you arrive at your destination and you find that it’s getting late and you are not tired.
You and your traveling companions are in this together. You are a team and you are battling jet lag together. You don’t want to get on different schedules. Even though I was exhausted at 4pm when we settled into our hotel room and all that I wanted to do was sleep – I went out for dinner with Charles.
Chances are you will be exhausted when you arrive at your destination. The best advice I can give is to just suck it up and do everything you can so that you will go to bed at a reasonable time and sleep through the night. Our first night in Japan we went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 6am. We got up a little early, but we woke up feeling completely 100% after 10 full uninterrupted hours of sleep. If you do things like take naps, you can be setting yourself up so that you can’t sleep through the night.
Do you have any advice for battling jet lag? I would love it if you shared your tips in the comments! Next week I will start to tell you about my trip to Tokyo, Singapore, and Indonesia.