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Jet lag prevention


Alternative names

Prevention of jet lag

Information

Here are some tips to help prevent jet lag:

  • Maintain a sensible bedtime schedule prior to your trip. Don't avoid sleeping in order to make yourself tired.
  • Consider going to bed earlier for a couple of nights before leaving if you are traveling east. Go to bed later for a couple of nights if you are traveling west.
  • For short trips, maintain a schedule of eating and sleeping at your usual time, if possible, while at your destination.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • If you exercise regularly, continue to do so at your destination. Avoid exercising late in the evening because it can keep you awake.
  • For important events or meetings at your destination, try to arrive in advance to have time to adjust to the time difference.
  • Melatonin, a hormone sold in supplement form at health food stores, may help decrease jet lag. Try taking 1-3 milligrams of melatonin at bedtime for several days once you arrive at your destination.

Update Date: 1/9/2004

Jacqueline A. Hart, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Boston, Ma., and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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