How to maintain sound sleep when changing time zones?

Sleep and wakefulness are disturbed after changing the time zone. In order to facilitate the flight and adaptation, the following recommendations must be followed. Before the flight:

• Choose the most appropriate departure time. It is better to choose a day flight. After taking off in the evening, you will be in a new place in the morning. Due to the time difference, you will have a short sleepless night, which will make you nervous and tired.

• Plan your flight a few days before an important event. During this time, you will be able to adapt to local time.

• Prepare documents and plan routes in advance. This will help you navigate quickly after arriving at a new location.

• If possible, start gradually changing your sleep time a few days before the flight. But do not change your schedule for more than 2-3 hours. This can negatively affect the quality of your sleep before the flight.

Follow the instructions below during the flight:

• As soon as you board the plane, set the clock to the new time. In this way, you will gradually adapt to the new time.

• If it is night at the point of arrival, try to get some sleep on the plane. Usually, flying at night, airlines try to create conditions for sleep. To keep your sleep calm, take everything you need. It can be comfortable clothes, shoes, a blanket, a special pillow, the main thing is to ensure a comfortable flight.

• If it is day at the point of arrival, try not to sleep during the flight. The exception is the flight to the west, when it is better to take a nap to reduce the “sleep pressure”.

Arriving in a new place, you need to slowly adapt to the new time, because sleep is an important part of life. To adapt to local time, follow these guidelines:

• Eat, buy, work and do other activities only local time. If you have trouble falling asleep or you wake up at night and can’t fall asleep again, start monotonous activities in low light.

• If you feel tired and drowsy after flying west, allow yourself to take a nap. Drowsiness will disappear and you will be able to be active until the night’s sleep.

• Open the curtains during the day. Sunlight is more intense than artificial, even in cloudy weather. The light from the lamps usually does not affect the circadian rhythms. When you fly west, try to stay in the sun as much as possible in the evening. Avoid sunlight and bright artificial lighting in the morning. When flying east, avoid sunlight in the evening and stay in the sun in the morning.

• If you cannot get used to the new regimen and feel tired during the day, take modafinil, such as Waklert or Modavigil. They will help you to be energetic and productive.

• Take melatonin tablets if necessary. When flying east, the sleep hormone can be taken in the evening half an hour before bedtime. This will help “adjust” your internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep. When you fly west, melatonin can be taken in the afternoon if you wake up too early. Melatonin should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor.