Suppose a traveller is flying from Las Vegas to New York. By getting bright light in the morning (through sunlight or a light box such as the Lightphoria), she is able to quickly adjust to the new time zone. See the example jet lag plan below.


Follow the plan below until you are alert during the day and sleeping well at night. If the suggestions are inconvenient for you, explore more options.

Preview
Las Vegas time
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Sun, 31                                                                                                 Mon, 1
Mon, 1                                                                                                 Tue, 2
Tue, 2                                                                                                 Wed, 3
Wed, 3                                                                                                 Thu, 4
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
New York City time
 
 Sleep ideal  Seek light  Melatonin  Travelling
Plan
Mon, 1 Jan
 09:00Depart and set your watch to arrival time zone (12:00). Sleep when needed on plane. The following times are in the arrival time zone.
 18:30Arrive
 21:00Take melatonin (0.5 mg)
Tue, 2 Jan
 02:00–10:00Sleep ideal (or earlier)
 10:00–13:00Seek light after waking
 20:00Take melatonin (0.5 mg)
Wed, 3 Jan
 01:00–09:00Sleep ideal (or earlier)
 09:00–12:00Seek light after waking
 19:00Take melatonin (0.5 mg)
Thu, 4 Jan
 00:00–08:00Sleep ideal (or earlier)
 08:00–11:00Seek light after waking
Guidelines
  • Seek light means try to get as much light as possible. Spend time outside in sunlight (even if it's cloudy) or near a bright window. If it's dark out, seek bright artificial light, preferably from a portable light box. Intermittent light works, but try to stay in light for as long as convenient.
  • Sleep ideal means that sleep is ideal during this period.
  • Take melatonin means that melatonin (0.5 mg) can be used for this trip. See the products page for important information before taking melatonin.
To reduce travel fatigue
  • During the flight:
    • Drink a lot of water (rather than tea, coffee, or alcohol)
    • Eat fruit
  • Upon arrival:
    • Drink a lot of water (rather than tea, coffee, or alcohol)
    • Take a shower
    • Take a 20-minute nap if needed
More options

(Your personal jet lag plan will have more options here.)


See the reduce jet lag page for your own jet lag plan.