Jet lag comes part and parcel with long-haul travel and for some people can be a major nuisance. This week our members discuss how they try to avoid jet lag when moving between time zones.

A popular strategy is to adjust to the local time zone before boarding the aircraft, and trying to sleep accordingly.

I change time for the new timezone upon boarding and act as if I’m already in the timezone I’m flying to when the flight departs. eg, QF11 departs SYD at 1500, or 2000 US PT. I go to sleep 4-5 hours into the flight. When I wake up 5-6 hours later, it’s ~6am PT and 3 hours from landing.

Another tip is to avoid sleeping excessively after arriving if landing in the morning on a red-eye overnight flight, as it may hinder your ability to sleep in the evening. For some people, however, a small nap is enough of an energy boost to help them through the rest of the day, while not preventing sleep the following night.

For some flyers, simple steps such as these are no match against the power of jet lag, and sleeping pills are relied on…

I use Melatonin. 3mg pre day take two nights before arrival (coming from Europe it’s on the two night flights) and one more night after. Works great for me and can enjoy as much food and alcohol as I want during that time.

…While others don’t find sleeping pills to be effective at all…

Unfortunately Melatonin does not work for everyone. In my case it keeps me well and truly awake.

In fact it works better than caffeine for me.

Some of our members opine that the direction of travel makes all the difference. Many travellers find that jet lag is reduced travelling from east to west, as one is effectively gaining time. However everyone is different and some actually find it easier to travel east.

There are plenty of other suggestions thrown into the mix. One is to avoid sleeping altogether on the flight. Another strategy is to play a round of golf after an early morning arrival.

How do you avoid jet lag? Check out our members’ advice or suggest your own remedy HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]