Cure for the common jet lag

A colleague of mine got back recently from a long trip in Australia. Sydney is 14 hours ahead of New York, so he was looking pretty bleary-eyed for a few days. He absolutely swears by the Argonne Anti-Jet Lag Diet, though, and I think I might try it for my next trip. Have you heard of it? It gives you a strict regimen of feast and fast days beginning 4 days before you fly, and limits caffeine consumption to certain times of day. I'm intrigued.

Also by this iPhone app, which prompts you to apply pressure to certain points on your body to reset your inner clock. I'm a skeptic, but for $2.99 I would try it.

I certainly haven't found any magic bullet for avoiding jet lag, but here's what tends to help me (not that I always follow my own instructions).

  • Drink LOTS of water on the plane, and only water. Bring a bottle and ask the flight attendant to fill it. Take a cup of water every time they offer one.
  • Don't feel the need to eat absolutely every meal they bring around, especially things that you know just by looking will probably wreak havoc with your digestion. Better to be a bit hungry when you arrive.
  • Try to sleep on the plane, but only if it's nighttime at your destination. If not, stay awake.
  • Once you arrive, go outside! Sunlight is so important to let your body know what time it is. Physical activity outdoors is a good thing, too.
  • Resist all urges to nap when you arrive. I always forget this one on purpose because I'm so tired—don't be like me.
  • Stay up as late as you can. We usually aim for 9pm bedtime after a long trip.
  • Have something planned for the morning after you arrive (or the day of, if you're ambitious), preferably a business meeting of some kind. The best jet lag cure I know is not having the option to laze around the house.
What works for you? Any special jet lag tips to share? I'm collecting them.

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