Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What are the quickest ways to get over jetlag?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are the quickest ways to get over jetlag?


I'm traveling to Europe soon but I will only be there for a week. I need to get over jet lag as quickly as possible to enjoy my trip. Any tips?


Congratulations on the upcoming trip, and I hope that you enjoy yourself. Obviously, this can be harder to do when you are trying to adjust between time zones. It is a good idea to speak with your doctor who can give you specific advice to help you. The trouble is that your brain can only reset 1-2 hours per day without a boost, and so it gets difficult to adapt after a long flight, which is complicated when you are only there for a short amount of time. Fortunately, there are things that can be done. As with everything, a healthy diet and activity are important. Sleep hygiene is especially important, meaning that you do whatever you can to separate your sleep and awake activities, i.e, don't watch TV while you are in bed or do other things that make it difficult for you to either fall asleep or stay asleep once you get there. Finally, there are medications that are available over the counter, such as melatonin, that have been found to decrease jet lag recovery times. These may not be appropriate for you, and so you should speak with your doctor, but they are quite helpful for many people. Again, please speak with your doctor about specific recommendations for you, and good luck with the upcoming trip.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.