Avoid caffeine and alcohol:
At least one or two weeks before your trip, avoid caffeine and alcohol as they affect the body and can aggravate discomfort. Drinking them can also cause dehydration and an alteration in sleep patterns. I had no problem with it because I don’t drink or have coffee very often but have traveled with people who does.
Maintain a good physical condition and diet:
The sedentary lifestyle will always bring negative consequences to our body and responds better with constant physical activity and a balanced diet. Also, avoid eating heavy things like pasta, flours, fats and others before and during the trip, digestion can be affected.
The air conditioning of the airplane and airports dries the throat and nose. Drinking enough water helps us to maintain this type of discomfort relieved. A dehydrated body will always be more affected by any kind of effort or change, so drink plenty of water!
Hours of rest:
If you travel to the East, remember that your day is going to be shorter and to the West your day is going to be longer. Calculate according to the departure time and arrival at your destination if you can sleep during the flight or if it is better to stay awake. Avoid it especially if your arrival is late. It is preferable to get tired at night, sleep and get up a little late the next day than having insomnia because you slept too much during the flight. And vice versa, it is better to sleep a couple of hours during the flight and land in the morning with some rest than staying awake for more than 24 hours. Calculate the schedules and choose what helps you adapt better to the new time zone.
Try to adapt in advance:
It’s also good that you get up earlier or later depending on the new time zone. Move your sleep hours (2 or 3 weeks before departing) to make day and night time coincide little by little with the hours of your next destination. If you travel east, wake up and go to bed a couple of hours earlier, if you travel west, wake up and go to bed a couple of hours later.
Make a multicity:
If you have the time, flexibility and financial resources, stay a couple of days in one or two cities halfway to your final destination. This way you can rest and adapt the body and at the same time, you get to know other places. Sometimes flights can be cheaper!
Expose yourself to the light:
I haven’t tried this method but thought it would be a good idea to explain in case someone wants to use it and let me know if it works. There’s a mathematical study done by researchers in Michigan that says jetlag effects can be reduced by coordinating exposure to light as you change from one time zone to another. They developed an app that can monitor, calculate and correct your circadian clock according to the light you receive. It’s name is ENTRAIN and you can click for HERE
for more information. Its free and available for Iphone and Android.
Talk with a doctor:
If you are taking any delicate medication or have any treatment in progress, talk to a specialist to determine the best way to continue with it, either by delaying or advancing the dose. In my case, I’ve traveled all these months while completing a treatment. What I did was to take the dose a couple of hours before or after my usual schedule for a few days to prepare myself to the new time zone.
Take it easy:
The first days don’t do demanding activities so the body doesn’t suffer from overexertion. That doesn’t mean you have to stay still: move, go out, walk, enjoy, accommodate your body to the new food and sleep schedule.
Beware of medications:
I’ve seen people recommending supplements such as melatonin. Before taking anything, talk to a specialist. I try to be as natural as possible because I don’t to want to alter my body with substances. And if I'm not mistaken, melatonin can interact with anticoagulants, contraceptives, immunosuppressants, anticonvulsants, diabetes medications, among others.