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Tips to Combat Jet Lag

— by Tempur-Pedic on Aug 26, 2022

Going on a trip – whether for business or leisure – typically brings excitement. You may spend weeks planning, packing your bags, and eventually setting off on your adventure. Unfortunately, jet lag – the unwanted side effect of your body’s disrupted circadian rhythm – typically accompanies those who opt to embark on a long journey. While many associate jet lag with international travel, domestic travelers crossing three or more time zones can also feel its effects. Jet lag can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, with symptoms that include daytime drowsiness, sleep disruptions, and gastrointestinal issues.

Man rolling a suitcase into a decorated bedroom with a wooden headboard and nightstands

While there’s no cure for jet lag, understanding how to prevent it can help you spend more time vacationing – and less time recovering. Here are a few of our top tips:

Move your bedtime before the trip

Adjust your daily schedule – including your nighttime routine – four to five days before you leave. Jet lag is most common when crossing multiple time zones, so consider how the time change impacts your current schedule and begin working to adjust. For example, if you live in New York and are traveling to California, you know you’ll experience a three-hour time difference. Try modifying your schedule to accommodate Pacific time to get a head start on defeating jet lag.

Make the most of an overnight flight

Are you booked on a red eye? Be sure to prep for your overnight flight by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and large meals. These items can impact your sleep and potentially prevent you from resting on the flight. Want to take your red-eye experience to the next level? Be sure to pack your Tempur-Pedic® Sleep Mask! Blocking light while applying light pressure to your eyes can help you relax and catch some extra Zzzs.

Kickstart your circadian rhythm

If you arrive at your destination mid-day, get some sun! Sunlight boosts your circadian rhythm and helps your body understand that it’s daytime, even if you’re typically asleep in your normal time zone. Pro Tip: try exercising or going for a walk – this is also a great way to promote endorphins that positively impact your circadian rhythm.

Make time for a good night’s sleep

There are places to go, people to see, and foods to eat – the itinerary of your trip can be full of anticipation and excitement. Between all your adventures, set time aside in the first few days to hit the hay early and get quality rest. Waking up feeling rejuvenated will be critical to help you avoid jet lag and will also add to your overall enjoyment of the trip.

Cut back on naps

To allow your circadian rhythm to adjust smoothly, it’s best to save sleeping for bedtime and reduce the number of naps you take throughout the day. Napping consistently for long periods can cause you to be wide awake when it’s time to sleep. However, if you need to rest, try not to exceed 30 minutes.

Work smarter, not harder – preventing potential jet lag can be a game-changer for your travel plans!

Science Insider

Sleep Foundation

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