How to Quickly Get Over Jet Lag Before an Important Meeting

Do you travel frequently for business meetings? Then you’ve probably experienced jet lag at some point. Jet lag is one of the most common side-effects of travelling extensively for business, and the effort It takes to get back to your usual, productive self is challenging—especially when your body thinks it’s night-time when you’ve got an important meeting to attend.

While the physical and mental effects of jet lag can be different for various people, there are certain steps you can take to minimise the impact on you, regardless of how great the effects are.

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Before the flight

You can adjust your sleeping schedule before your flight. If you’re flying east, try to wake up a little earlier than usual and go to bed a little earlier as well. You can do this by getting a sunlight-mimicking lamp. If you’re flying west, go to bed a little later than normal.

Wean yourself off caffeinated drinks and alcohol at least two days before your scheduled flight. Caffeine will keep you awake and alcohol will give you that woozy feeling after the flight. While you wait to board, don’t eat foods high in fat as they will cause your stomach to go into overdrive during the flight.

Lastly, make sure you get enough rest before your flight to ensure that you prepare your mind and body for the change in time zone.

During the flight

When on the plane, move your mind to the destination time zone. If it’s daylight there, don’t sleep on the plane. Adjust your watch to the destination time and you will already reduce a lot of your jet lag.

Eat small portions—it will help your body digest it better. When you’re on a plane, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your internal organs. If you’re worried that you’ll be hungry later, ask the flight attendant to set aside some extra food for you. Also, make sure you eat all the vegetables and drink lots of water.

Do not use sleeping pills on a plane. As much as they can help you sleep, they are also tied to producing blood clots in people who are stationary. Since you don’t get much movement on a plane, avoid sleeping pills altogether. If you really need to sleep, go for a natural hormone (melatonin) that will help you sleep.

You also want to get a little exercise by walking up and down the aisles every two hours to keep your blood circulating.

Lastly, prepare for normal plane conditions:

  • Earplugs to block out noise
  • Eye mask to block light
  • Comfortable pillow
  • Blanket
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Socks

After the flight

As soon as you can, take a shower to reboot your mind and body. You can also at this point reboot your energy levels with protein and coffee.

Avoid sleeping if it’s not night-time at your destination. This will throw your body off into a spiral of jet lag. Try to explore your surroundings by taking a walk or visiting a popular landmark.