Maybe you pictured taking Bali by storm the minute you stepped off that plane in Den Pasar, but though your mind's willing, your body's not. When you travel to a new time zone, your internal clock needs time to adjust. Insomnia, headaches, fatigue, lack of appetite at meals and a ravenous appetite at the wrong times are all signs of jet lag.


  • Drink plenty of water (that is: Water, so no alcohol!) as you travel to your destination and after you arrive. If you are dehydrated, it will take you longer to adapt to the new time zone.
  • Sleep on the plane to be alert and awake if you will be arriving in the morning or early afternoon. Stay awake on the plane to be sleepy upon arrival if you'll reach your destination in the evening or at night.
  • If you arrive at your final destination in the morning, try to stay awake all day. Drink small amounts of coffee, tea or caffeinated soda to wake you up (too much caffeine will further disrupt your sleep cycle). Keep napping to a minimum.
  • If you arrive in the evening, go to sleep at your normal bedtime according to the new time zone. That is, if your bedtime at home is 11 pm, go to bed at that time in your new location.
  • Expose yourself to bright light and exercise in the morning in the new time zone. This helps reset your internal clock.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day while you adjust to the new mealtimes. Keep a snack by your bed if your regular dinnertime occurs in the middle of the night in the new time zone.
  • Give your body time to make the switch. If you feel very drowsy during the day, take a nap for up to one hour, but make sure it's before evening. Avoid pushing yourself too hard during the first few days.
  • To minimize the effects of jet lag, start adjusting your internal clock before you depart. Go to sleep an hour earlier or later on the days leading up to your departure.
  • Generally, it is more difficult to adjust to a time zone when you are traveling east, because you must wake up and go to sleep earlier than you're used to.
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