Slovakia and Central Europe are six hours ahead of Eastern Time – so you might be changing time by six or more hours! You may already be a seasoned traveler with your own strategies for overcoming jetlag. But in case you’re not, here are our thoughts…
Change Your Watch/Clock – Set your watch/phone to the new time (add 6 hours to Eastern time) as soon as you sit down on the plane. Whenever you look at your watch/phone, think about the DESTINATION time, not about the home time. Jet-lag is as much a brain game as anything else… start thinking in the new time as soon as possible.
Eat on the New Time – Begin EATING at the new schedule as soon as possible. Current research is showing that our bodies adjust quickly to meal schedules. Whenever you would have a meal in the new time, try to have something to eat wherever you are.
Sleep on the New Time – When you make the flight from the U.S., you’ll be leaving late at night in the DESTINATION time. Have your meal and go on to sleep. Bring whatever you need to help you sleep on the plane – eye mask, earplugs, etc. You won’t get a complete night’s sleep, but the most important thing is that your body will adjust to the new sleep schedule.
Stay Awake on the New Time – When you make the flight back home to the U.S. try your best to stay awake until bedtime back home. It’ll be hard, but your body will thank you when you adjust back to the old sleep schedule!
Take Supplements – Melatonin is a chemical our bodies create naturally to help regulate our internal clocks. You can buy supplements at stores like Target and Wal-Mart (look in the vitamin section). When you take it, it does more than just make you sleepy, it tells your internal body clock that THIS IS SLEEP TIME. Bring some with you, and take some with your meal on the plane over the Atlantic. Then take some before you go to bed each night you’re here. It will help your body adjust more quickly.