How Long Does Jet Lag Last & Ways to Overcome it Quickly?

If you are taking a long distance flight then one of the most common conditions you suffer from is Jet lag. This common factor during long distance flight can leave you completely wrecked for many days after reaching your destination. We will know more about the jet lag, how long jet lag lasts and also know about some of the ways to overcome it quickly.

How Long Does Jet Lag Last?

How Long Does Jet Lag Last?

A persistent jet lag can actually ruin your entire trip. It must be mentioned that certain amount of jet lag is unavoidable; but the actual amount of recovery time depends on the distance a person traveled. Let us know more about how long does jet lag last in the following paragraphs.

  • The Basic Rule of Thumb on Jet Lag Recovery Time:

There is a factor of one day of recovery from jet lag for every time zone shifted. So, in case you have travelled from the East coast of the United States to Europe, with a 6 hours of time difference, then you can expect the jet lag may lasts up to 6 days to completely recover.

It must also be mentioned that jet lag exhibits harsher symptoms during eastward travel because of lost sleep. For westward flights, one must expect one day of recovery per one and a half time zones.

It must also be mentioned that this basic calculation might not be true for every individual. Travelers are mostly functional in their new time zone within 1 or 2 days by taking adequate rest.

Ways to Overcome Jet Lag Quickly:

  1. Melatonin Dose to Overcome Jet Lag Quickly:

    Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important role in body rhythms and Jet lag. Melatonin is naturally produced by the body during its daily waking and sleeping rhythms. It is also available in pharmacies without prescription. You can take melatonin in order to overcome jet lag quickly. The recommended dosage of melatonin is 1 mg or less; however travelers taking larger dosage recover quickly from jet lag. It is good if you take a dose of melatonin that is anywhere between 0.3 mg to 0.5 mg on the first day of travel while you go to sleep at your destination and also for few more days if required. Make sure that melatonin should only be taken by adults and also individuals taking melatonin should avoid drinking alcohol.

  2. Medication to Help Overcome Jet Lag Quickly:

    There are certain prescriptions as well as OTC or over-the-counter sleeping pills which may aid you reset your body clock to the time at your destination. Some of the OTC sleep aids are doxylamine or Unisom, diphenhydramine or Sominex, Nytol etc.

    Some of the prescription sleep medications include:

    • Melatonin receptor agonists like Rozerem
    • Short-acting sedative-hypnotics like benzodiazephines, Zaleplon, etc.
    • Benzodiazepines or tranquilizers, temazepam or Restoril, flurazepam or Dalmane, estazolam or ProSom etc.
  3. Fast Famine Diet to Overcome Jet Lag Quickly:

    There is an anti-jet lag diet developed by The Argonne National laboratory which is a preventive measure that might hasten recovery from jet lag quickly. By using this fast famine diet, travelers alter their eating as well as sleeping patterns before travel so as to lessen the disruption to their body during the change in time zone. Travelers can use chemicals naturally produced by their bodies so as to fight the fatigue and disorientation due to jet lag, by eating foods that encourage sleepiness or wakefulness. It is also found that some people reported no feelings of jet lag by following this diet.

  4. Other Effective Ways to Overcome Jet Lag Quickly:

    Some of the effective ways to overcome Jet lag quickly include the following:

    • In case you are travelling in a long distance flight to a different time zone then you can make changes in your sleeping arrangements from a few days before your departure
    • Make sure you set your mobile and watch as per the new time zone. This will aid you fight jet lag after you arrive at your destination
    • Do take sufficient amount of rest and eat well before boarding the flight; but do not over eat
    • Try and avoid caffeine so as to get rid of sleepiness jet lag, as it may tend to worsen the situation
    • In case you arrive at a different time zone while day time, then try to stay outdoors and get a lot of sunlight. This would help you overcome jet lag. Staying outdoors during day time can make you fall asleep normally at night
    • If your flight arrives at the destination in evening then try to take light tea and go to sleep at a decent time. You can use ear plugs and eye mask to fall asleep quickly
    • Avoid alcohol so as to overcome jet lag. Taking alcohol can worsen the situation and can make you feel drowsier.
    • Apply few drops of lavender oil on your pillow while sleeping after travel. This acts as a mild sedative with lovely rejuvenating aroma that will make you feel more refreshed in the other day.
    • Carry some prescription sleep medications if required.
    • Drink plenty of water so as to stay hydrated
    • Carefully time your food consumption, even after arriving at your destination. You need to maintain proper portion of food intake and at a proper time interval so as to keep you healthy and help fight sleepiness and drowsiness.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 5, 2017

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