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Conquer Jet Lag When on Hawaii Vacation

I have two words for you: JET LAG, the curse of the well-traveled. It’s when travelers cross several time zones and therefore, feel out-of-sync with the destination. Temporary symptoms include insomnia at night, sleepiness during the day, irritability or hunger at inappropriate times.

As a rule of thumb, it takes your body about one day to adjust for every time zone crossed. But there are several things you can do to lessen the blow, so to speak. About four or five days before departure, gradually change your sleeping and eating schedule to match that of Hawaii. It’ll also make it easier to adjust to the local time as a part of your day-to-day.

Another preventative, sleep on the plane. Traveling can be very exhausting, but the more rest you get, the easier it will be to fight jet lag. Take a red-eye flight to Hawaii so that you’re actually sleeping at a normal schedule. And while it may be tempting to stop at the airport coffee shop during a layover, avoid drinking anything caffeinated. Sure, it makes you feel more lively, but it also causes you to wake up more often once you fall asleep. (This goes for alcohol as well.)

Water, water, water. Drink lots of it. For every hour you’re in the air, drink at least eight ounces. Purchase a water bottle at the airport before taking flight, or you can do what I do. Because no liquids are allowed through the security check point, I pack an empty Nalgene bottle and then fill it up at the airport water fountain once I’m at the gate.

When landing in the islands, spend time in the


. This should be easy to do; after all, you are in a tropical destination with tons of outdoor activities to enjoy. It helps your body reset and coincide with the new surroundings. Also once you’re here,

don’t give in to the fatigue

…unless it’s reasonably close to a normal bed time here. Otherwise, forget about dozing and ride out the sleepiness. I wouldn’t suggest sleeping as soon as you get to your hotel either because it will only make it more difficult to adjust to a regular sleep schedule.

Photo Credit: Noa Myers

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Jul 28, 2012