These tips to overcome jet lag will put you back on track when you're thousands of miles away.

By Kristine Solomon
September 04, 2018

It was 10 a.m. on a June morning when I found myself face-planting into my double espresso at an outdoor cafe in Croatia. I'm from New York, so according to my body clock, it was 4 a.m.—an hour when I'd typically be sound asleep. Jet leg had set in, and I was desperate for a cure.

So when I was planning my most recent trip to Reykjavik, Iceland, I was determined not to slide down a glacier in a sleepy stupor. Iceland has 24 hours of sunlight a day during the summer, which was bound to undo my circadian rhythm, the internal clock that controls my sleep cycle. It's regulated by the hormone melatonin, which can only be produced in the dark—something of an issue in a place where there literally is no darkness.

For me, one of the best cures for jet lag is to force myself to stay awake all day (not everyone agrees with the no-nap method), then do everything I can to fall asleep and stay asleep at bedtime. The setup in my hotel room would be crucial to this actually happening, and luckily the Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton had me covered with blackout curtains, high-end memory foam mattresses, duck down duvets, in-room temperature-control units, and even an on-site bath house for evening wind-downs.

"Most months of the year we have darkness almost the entire day," notes Sigrún Gunnarsdóttir, sales manager at the Reykjavik Konsulat. "So the curtains are strictly for those summer months when we have 20 to 24 hours of sunlight."

 

Needless to say, if you're anticipating jet lag—and especially if you're traveling to a place where the sun either doesn't rise or never sets—do your homework and book accommodations that will set you up for sleep success.

But if you're dealing with jet lag despite your best plans? Follow the tips below from sleep experts and prolific travelers to get your system back on track.

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