How to Combat Jet Lag So You Never Miss A Sunrise

Oh, jet lag, thou art a pain to travel with. Jet lag kicks in for most people when travelling across two time zones or more. And we all know how that plays out: missing out on the best breakfast buffets, sunrise hikes or bike rides and oh no — you’re 15 minutes away from your check-out time. What to do, what to do?

#1 “Vacation” Before Your Vacation

Thanks, Pinterest.

Do this: So a “vacation” could be just a tiny misleading. What we really mean is, put yourself on the same time zone of the destination you’ll be travelling to. Nothing too extreme, you need only try it out for a day or two. After all, “I’m starting my vacation early” isn’t the best excuse for turning up late to work.

#2 To Pop Pills or No?


Don’t do this: Take a sleeping pill unless you have more than seven or eight hours of sleep on board. But if you need to take one, talk to your doctor on which pill works best for your body. Strong ones can leave you feeling woozy at touch down. And know this — if you’re not moving around during your flight while staying hydrated, there’s a chance of developing deep vein thrombosis if you’re already at risk for it.

#3 Fly in Style (Or at Least Try to)

That’s Derek “Lucky Singaporean” Low!

Do this: Hey, if you can afford, or think you can pull of these cheats to getting a free upgrade, why not fly first class? It’ll probably even be better than sleeping in your own bed. Here’s how one lucky Singaporean felt when he took a ride on $18,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class. Still can’t sleep? Try our favourite meditation app, Headspace. Trust us, it’ll change your life, jet lagged or not.

#4 Seriously, Take a Seat


Don’t do this: Pick an aisle seat. Even if you don’t usually need to get up to use the restroom, your neighbour might have had a bit too much coffee to drink. Same goes for seats at the back of the plane that are bound to feel the bumps of turbulence. Instead, pick a window seat, pack a comfy neck pillow and before you kno- zzzzzz. You’re fast asleep, congratulations.

#5 Trick Your Body

Woman using iPhone 4s and laptop in airplane during flight
Not righto.

Do this: It’s easier than you think. Our bodies release hormones called adrenocorticotropin when it receives sunlight, which sends a signal to our brain that it’s time to rise and grind. May not always seem to be the case on ground, but that’s science for ya. Turn off all electronics, or close your eyes as you listen to a calming playlist on Spotify — we like this one — and your body will think it’s night and do its thing. Really, it’s science.

#6 Not the Time For a Night Cap

Water, please.

Don’t do this: You can’t trick your body into handling your usual gin and tonic before bed. At high altitude, alcohol drains your body’s water and essentially puts you at risk for sleep apnea — not the best of scenarios for snorers. While alcohol can help you doze off, it can also lead to an easily-disturbed sleep. Plus you’ve got Bob on three cups of coffee seated next to you.

And finally, definitely do this

Photo credits: Main, 1, 23, 4, 5 and 6.

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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