How to defeat jet lag?


To defeat jet lag, provides the following advice based on understanding the mechanisms behind jet lag:

  • Avoid Inconsistency: Jet lag can be exacerbated by inconsistent habits like checking your phone at night, varying wake-up times, and an erratic exercise regime. Individual variability affects how people experience jet lag, and there's no simple pill to eradicate it. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of jet lag can offer flexibility in managing it 1.

  • Light Exposure: Utilize strategic exposure to sunlight — viewing light after your temperature peak in the evening can help delay your clock, allowing you to stay up later and adapt to the local time. Avoid napping during the day, especially when you're dying to go to sleep right after landing, as this can compound jet lag. Instead, use caffeine, exercise, and daylight to help stay awake until a normal bedtime at your destination 2.

  • Travel Schedule: If the trip is short (e.g., less than three days), staying on your home schedule is recommended as much as possible. Using bright light in the morning of your home schedule, even while at your destination, can help regulate your sleep cycle. It's also important to manage light exposure in relation to your circadian dead zone and your temperature minimum to align with your usual rhythm 3 4.

    Understanding Jet Lag

    Andrew explains the mechanism behind jet lag and how understanding it can help control our biological system. He also highlights the individual variability in jet lag and how it can affect our health.

    Huberman Lab

    Find Your Temperature Minimum to Defeat Jetlag, Shift Work & Sleeplessness | Huberman Lab Podcast #4
  • Shift Your Circadian Clock: Understand your temperature minimum, which can be timed to help you shift your clock using light, exercise, and meal times. Prepare a few days before travel by adjusting when you wake up and expose yourself to bright light or engage in exercise. Once you arrive, continue to adapt your clock by monitoring what your temperature minimum was at home 5.

  • Avoid Taking Naps Upon Arrival: It's important to resist the urge to nap shortly after arrival, as it can severely disrupt your effort to adjust to the new time zone. Pushing past the fatigue with caffeine and physical activity can be beneficial 2.

  • Jet Lag Dangers & Aging: Be aware of the dangers of jet lag, which include mood swings, amnesia, and even accidents. With aging, melatonin cycles become disrupted, making older individuals more vulnerable to jet lag. Regular exercise can help mitigate the effects 6 7.

  • Morning and Evening Light Exposure: Get bright light exposure within 30 minutes of waking up and again in the evening. This repeated signal will help keep your biological rhythms in check. If traveling eastward, wake up around your temperature minimum an hour before and expose yourself to bright light a few days before your trip to shift your clock forward by as much as 9 hours in two days. Be mindful of your temperature minimum and adjust your exposure to light accordingly when waking up and going to sleep 8.

Please note that this advice is based on the knowledge shared by and may vary individually. It's always best to consider personal health conditions and consult a healthcare professional when needed.