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Avoiding Jet Lag when Traveling to U.S

Man with a mask talking traveling in the train during Covid19 pandemic

If you’re traveling to the United States from another country, the chances are good that you’ll experience jet lag. Jet lag is a condition that’s caused by a disruption in your body’s natural sleep cycle, and it can be quite uncomfortable. There are many causes of jet lag and it can occur any time you travel across one or more time zones. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to prevent or minimize the effects of jet lag on your next trip.

What Causes Jet Lag?

The most common cause of jet lag is traveling across multiple time zones. This can happen when you travel eastward, such as from the United States to Europe, or westward, such as from Europe to the United States. It can also occur when you travel to a different country with a different time zone, such as from the United States to Japan.

Other causes include:

  • Flying at night
  • Working on a computer or other electronic devices during your flight
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine during your flight
  • Eating a heavy meal before your flight

How to Avoid

There’s nothing worse than landing in a new city after a long flight and feeling like you can’t enjoy yourself because you’re so exhausted. Jet lag is a real problem for travelers, but there are some things you can do to minimize its effects.

  • Before your trip, start adjusting your sleep schedule to the time zone of your destination. If you’re flying east, go to bed and wake up earlier each day for a few days before your trip. If you’re flying west, do the opposite. This will help your body get used to the new time zone before you even take off.
  • On the plane, drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you and make your jet lag worse. Get up and move around as much as possible to keep your blood flowing; take a walk up and down the aisle every few hours. And when you land, try to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime in your new time zone; this will help you adjust more quickly.


With a little planning and effort, you can minimize the effects of jet lag and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore.

How to Deal With it

Assuming you’re flying east (towards the United States), there are a few key things you can do to combat jet lag.

  1. Reset your watch to the local time of your destination as soon as you get on the plane. This will help your mind and body start to adjust to the new time zone.
  2. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the flight by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. These can all contribute to dehydration, which will make jet lag worse.
  3. Try to get some sleep on the plane if possible. This can be tough if you’re flying during the day, but even an hour or two of shut-eye can help your body adjust to the new time zone more quickly.
  4. Once you arrive at your destination, avoid napping during the day so that you can start to stay up until a more normal bedtime in the new time zone. Getting sunlight exposure during the day can also help regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm.

Symptoms

Jet lag is a common problem for travelers who cross multiple time zones. The symptoms of jet lag can include fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and gastrointestinal distress.

To minimize the effects of jet lag, it is important to plan your travel schedule carefully. When making long-distance travel plans, try to book flights that arrive in the morning so that you can adjust to the new time zone more easily. And be sure to get plenty of rest before your trip!

Tips for Dealing with Jet Lag

  1. Get plenty of sleep before your flight- This will help you to be well-rested and better able to cope with jet lag when you arrive at your destination.
  2. Drink lots of water- Staying hydrated will help your body to adjust to the time change and reduce the symptoms of jet lag.
  3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine- These can dehydrate you and make it harder for your body to adjust to the new time zone.
  4. Get up and move around- Taking a walk or doing some light exercise will help to keep your energy levels up and combat fatigue.
  5. Adjust your schedule gradually- If possible, start adjusting your sleep patterns and mealtimes a few days before you travel so that your body has time to get used to the new schedule.

Avoiding Jet Lag when Traveling to the U.S

There are a few things you can do to avoid jet lag when traveling to the United States.

  1. Use a sleep schedule that is similar to your home time zone when flying out of your destination city and plan to arrive in the U.S. a day or so before the actual arrival date to allow your body to adjust to the new time zone.
  2. Adjust your sleep patterns while traveling to your destination by staying up a little later at night and getting up earlier than usual in the morning when you arrive at your destination. This will help you adjust to your new time zone more quickly.
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to help stay hydrated and minimize the risk of dehydration on a long flight.
  4. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals, exercise for two to three days before your flight, and stay well rested before your trip to reduce your risk of feeling the effects of jet lag once you arrive at your destination.
  5. Light therapy is recommended in some cases but should be avoided before traveling as it may interfere with your ability to adjust to the new time zone once you arrive.


Traveling to the United States can be a tiring experience, especially if you’re not used to the time difference. The good news is, there are ways to minimize the effects of jet lag so that you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.