It’s 6 PM. You just got off your flight and are feeling dead tired in your Uber back home from the airport. You start to go through your normal routine before bed but it’s barely past dinner time. Your wife and kids just want to hangout because they haven’t seen you in 5 days. You can barely keep your eyes open and your timepiece reads – yep, only 7:30 PM. If you try to nap now, you’re waking up at 2 AM with enough energy to coerce you into watching conspiracy theory videos on Youtube.
We’ve all been there. For the season travelers, your body’s clock lies somewhere between Mountain time and Central time so you never really get affected.
If you have a large territory to cover chances are you’ve felt the dramatic jet lag that gets brought on early evening. Even more so for international travelers, you might be awake for 30 hours before finally getting time to check out. On some flights, mainly international and some domestic Delta flights, you get enough room and comfortable enough seat to doze off. But other times you aren’t so lucky. These steps will help you accommodate the jet lag and keep you firing on all cylinders.
Get All of Tomorrow’s Work Done Tonight
Nothing sucks more than being tired from a flight and STILL having to turn in this week’s expense report. While flying, buy that WiFi pass! There is no better investment than being able to fire off all your emails and meeting invites before you even land. This will also work to benefit your confidence and libido levels! Procrastinating will seriously stress you out in the long run and is one of the worst habits out there. If you have accomplished all of tomorrow’s tasks, you can relax and focus on the things in life that really matter. Your non-work life!
Hey if your boss notices you got everything turned in a day early, is that really so bad?
Keep Your Teeth Clean
Brushing teeth helps keep you awake! A University of Southern California Center for Work and Family Life study found that the minty freshness in your mouth actually gives you more energy! Plus, you won’t have bad breath and well, there isn’t much else worse than having bad breath on an airplane.
Keep a Good, Strong Diet. No Alcohol!
I hate to say it but on travel days between time zones, you should avoid alcohol and energy drinks. Coffee is OK because it is a a more natural caffeine and is actually GOOD for your heart! Drinking alcohol is going to affect your brain and your heart, which are both key for your body’s time zone and avoiding jet lag. Fatty, greasy food is the same way (plus you don’t want to spend more time in the bathroom). Try to eat salad or a combination of white fish and vegetables. (Check out our article on How to Stay Fit while Traveling)
Fall Asleep at YOUR Right Time
This actually depends on the person, so it will require some attentive testing and bookkeeping. For myself, if I have a late flight, I’m going to take a nap in the early evening and wake up 2-3 hours prior to leaving. This guarantees me at least 5 hours of being wide awake. Also, when I am traveling east to west in the US, I will wake up earlier that morning, so that my body can quickly adapt to the 3 hour difference. On the way back, I just do the opposite, try to sleep in a couple of hours so that my body is ready for the later time zone.
Lastly, make sure you are having real human contact! Talk on the phone with clients, chat with your family while you’re waiting in the terminal. Keeping to yourself and listening to your podcasts can only keep you so attentive. Let us know how YOU avoid jet lag!