5 Ways to Beat Jet Lag

5 ways to beat jet lag everyday parisian

5 Ways to Beat Jet Lag

As a Paris photographer and blogger, I have taken many international trips. Jet lag is part of traveling to Paris. If you talk to different travelers, they either struggle to go or come to Paris as they cross time zones. In my experience, arriving in Paris seems to be an easier transition, partly because of the adrenaline and returning to my favorite city. Adjusting to a new time zone can be challenging. The goal is quickly getting your circadian rhythm back on track and adjusting to the local time. Below are my top tips for beating jet lag. 

Jet lag symptoms can range from sleepiness to irritability and even gut issues. The lack of sleep can take a toll on your body, so you want to ease the effects of jet lag as quickly as possible. Over the years, I have learned a lot through trial and error. I learned a few tricks from a flight attendant on one of my many trips to Paris. 

If you have tips for jet lag, feel free to comment and share below!

Hydrate to Ease Jet Lag 

Hydration is essential to reducing symptoms of jet lag. I try to start this process a few days before I leave for a trip to get myself into the routine. Drink water as much as possible throughout the day to keep you hydrated. You can pack a refillable water bottle for the flight. The flight crew will come through with water occasionally, but push yourself to drink water while watching movies or reading. Flying dehydrates your body, which is the key to feeling good when you land. 

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol 

wine and cheese on Paris balcony

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is just as hard as not napping, or maybe even harder. Alcohol’s effects can be hard on your body, especially while flying. It dehydrates you, and your sleep quality is not as good. While the airline offers a glass of wine with your inflight meal, skip it. Save that French wine for when you land in Paris. In my experience, the selections will probably be much better at a local café than on your flight. 

Get Moving Before and After a Long Flight 

everyday parisian jet lag tricks for Paris

Being active and elevating your heart rate will increase your energy levels. If I am home in Chicago, I prioritize taking a workout class on the day of a flight. Before leaving Paris, I will wake up early to take one last Seine stroll or long walk before going to the airport. 

Sleep on The Plane to Beat Jet Lag

It may not be easy for everyone, but I do my best to sleep as much as possible on the flights to and from Paris. The airline serves dinner on the outbound flight, which isn’t always the best food. To maximize the hours of sleep you get before arrival, try eating before boarding your flight. You can grab something to eat at the airport at one of the restaurants. A good night’s sleep makes all the difference on long-haul flights. I love a good eye mask to block the bright light and help me sleep on a night flight. One was offered on my first trip to London in college, and I have been hooked ever since. Quince makes an affordable one. Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones are also a great way to ease your body into sleep, and I love listening to the Calm app or a podcast before bed. 

5 ways to beat jet lag

I have found that melatonin supplements can be beneficial for me to get sleep on a flight. These gummy ones are great, and I keep two in my pocket so I don’t have to dig them in my bag after takeoff. This mistake has happened once or twice. Check with your doctor if you hesitate to take a melatonin sleep aid. 

Regulate Your Sleep Schedule Right Away to Beat Jet Lag

Paris Seine stroll Eiffel Tower

Once you reach your new destination, you will want to get into a regular sleep cycle as soon as possible. To reset your internal clock, get natural light exposure once you land on both the inbound and outbound flights. Fresh air will also make a big difference if you feel sleepy. The weather in Paris can be unpredictable, and I have faced rainy and gloomy days more than anything else upon arrival. As much as you want to nap, the last thing you should do is sleep once you get settled in your apartment or hotel room. If the weather is sunny, you are lucky and should spend some time outside in the fresh air. Don’t forget the sunscreen even on cloudy days. 

Luxembourg Paris gardens in the Fall

Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day and take it easy. I recommend scheduling a light itinerary for the first day in Paris to let your body adjust. 

After a long day of flying, a good first night’s sleep can help you adjust to the new time zone. Fight fatigue as much as possible, and have a good lunch and dinner in the regular time zone of where you are (Paris or Home). Try to make it to your regular bedtime. When I arrive in Paris, I can typically push myself until at least 10 or 11 pm. Shower and change clothes when you arrive, even if you didn’t get a great night’s sleep. This will help you adjust to the new place. The following day, you should be feeling much more adjusted. 

This post does include affiliate links that help contribute to my coffee and croissant research. Merci, in advance.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy Where to Eat and Drink in Paris

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  1. I am headed to Paris for the first time in one week and your blog has been so helpful! I’m also from the Chicago area and your information is so relatable. Thank you for all of the helpful hints!

  2. I have never gotten jet lag. I have a very strong circadian rhythm, and it’s too hard for me to switch up sleeping times, so I take the cold turkey approach; I always tske an evening flightvto Europe, amd then force myself to stay awake on the flight. We usually arrive at our destination in the morning and the excitement of being in new or beloved places always gets me through the first day, then I sleep like a baby all night and wake up on local time. Coming home, we usually arrive early evening, and again, I just stay awake in the plane, so by the time we are actually home, I fall asleep easily. I have far worse trouble going between time zones here in the US than I do internationally.

  3. I am totally memorized by every word of your trips and hints……..My trip is coming up in June!! Can’t wait!!! Thank you for preparing me!!

  4. I have to admit that for the last several years, we have been in business class, so sleeping
    is a lot easier. But I don’t eat the food on the plane. Even before business class was developed, we were in first class, but there were seats, not flat beds. Followed same rule until breakfast when all I wanted was yogurt and tea. I do the same thing now.
    Gerry and I got quite a laugh when breakfast going over one time they offered croissants. I decided I could wait another day. But the best idea is to drink lots of water. There is a slight downside…, but it does help. And get up and stretch and go for a little walk.And wear compression socks.
    It’s nice to compare notes. And I’m always ready for whatever weather is in the forecast.

  5. I do so enjoy reading your suggestions…..going to Paris.
    I haven’t been there for a very long time…..
    My son works there, I’ll be with him 1st week may for his birthday….☺️

  6. I was born in NZ and have travelled all my life, for my work in the Performing Arts world. Can I say for those of you in USA whichever coast, West or East flying to Europe is easy.. our flights range from 20-24 hours. And the product I have used all my life.. now over 40 years… when Head of Business at The Australian Ballet, Buyer for Department store, and Musician, speaker , “one woman show” is a fab NZ product that has been around for years and still is “Jet Ease”. It’s a homeopathic product, small tablets that dissolve in your mouth. Take them a couple of hours before the plane gets off the ground and a couple of hours after you land … to be honest have never had jet lag… have a few good vinos and eat great food. We Kiwis and Aussies have to travel long distances so we make sure that all is well when we arrive. Sally xx

  7. Planning a trip in April. Read your advise and will keep them in mind. Hopefully Paris will still be in bloom.

    • You should be good if you go in the first couple of weeks in April. Check next to Notre Dame. They last around two weeks and they haven’t started yet.

  8. Planning a trip to France in July and have been worried about the jet lag since I am a person who doesn’t do well without good sleep. These tips are helpful and encouraging. Thanks!