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9 Ways to Avoid Jet Lag and Stay Rested on Vacation

Caucasian Man Asleep On Moving Train, How To Avoid Jet Lag

OFFSET

Follow these helpful tips to get better sleep while on vacation.

En español | "Nothing can disrupt sleep like travel," says Arianna Huffington, the sleep-obsessed entrepreneur whose latest book looks at shuteye from every angle — including how to get a good night's rest on the road. Here, Huffington and Michael Breus (author of The Power of When) share their tips on arriving ready to roll.

 

  1. Direction dictates time
    If you're westbound, book an afternoon flight; if you're headed east, leave in the morning. "East is least and west is best," says Breus, a psychologist specializing in sleep disorders. "Going west, you're asking your body only to stay up later. But when you travel east, you're asking it to go to bed early; that's not as easy." 
  2. Squeeze in an extra day at your destination
    "I've talked to many executives who fly around the world and go into meetings exhausted, unable to stay awake," says Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time. "They often end up offending people who may have worked for weeks getting presentations ready for that meeting."
  3.  Pack snooze-boosters
    Inside Huffington's carry-on: eye mask, noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, herbal teas, favorite neck pillow.
  4. Reset your mental clock
    As soon as you board a flight, change your watch to the time at your destination.
  5. Get some sun when you arrive
    Exposure to light helps you reset your body clock.
  6. Dine as the Romans do
    If you arrive in the morning, eat breakfast — even if it's time for dinner back home. "The gut has its circadian rhythms too," Breus says. 
  7. Request a quiet hotel room
    "A sleep-friendly hotel can make all the difference," says Huffington, who notes that "the hotel industry has made sleep a priority in a way that was unimaginable a few years ago. Sleep is the industry's new holy grail."
  8. Dwell in darkness
    Carry clips to close gaps in hotel-room drapes. Huffington places a towel against the bottom of the door to screen out hallway light, charges her mobile devices in the bathroom and places stickers over the blinking lights on in-room electronics. 
  9. Test-drive drugs
    "You never want to take something for the first time on a plane or in an unfamiliar place," Breus says. Whether a sleep aid was prescribed for you or purchased over the counter, try it at home first.

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