What you can do to reduce symptoms
Sometimes, jet lag is unavoidable. However, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your jet lag symptoms and to keep them under control.
When you arrive into a new time zone, the best plan is to:
- try to establish a new routine (for mealtimes and bedtime) that fits your new time zone rather than your old one
- try to stay awake until it’s time for bed in your new time zone, and avoid taking naps in the middle of the day
- stay outside as much as possible, because the daylight will help your body get used to its new routine
Some people also find that taking melatonin tablets helps reduce their jet lag symptoms. Melatonin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter, which your body naturally produces in the evening, to tell your body it’s time to go to sleep.
Sleeping tablets aren’t recommended to relieve sleeping problems associated with jet lag, because there’s a risk of becoming too dependent upon them for sleeping. They can also cause diarrhoea and headaches.
Talk to your local nurse or doctor if you regularly have severe jet lag that doesn’t go away within a few days of arriving at a different time zone.