How to live with jetlag: 7 tricks

There’s no cure-all for jet lag. But there is a sane way to travel.

I spend my life on planes. Often, when people ask where I live, I answer simply: “Seat 7a.” I work equally in the U.S. and Europe, with a few side trips to the Far East, so I’m regularly asked how I handle jet lag. I’ve read a lot of the science on the subject, tried out most of the remedies, and found no magic cure.

Instead, to some degree, I try to ignore jet lag. I learned to do this because I found my kids had no interest in it; when I came home, they just assumed I was on their schedule, and had no sympathy for any excuses. It taught me a good lesson. So here are seven tricks I’ve learned to help me cope:

1. When you’re on planes, don’t work or watch movies. 

Too much time in front of a screen in an airless space numbs the mind. It can feel like a treat but it won’t give you energy. So bring an old-fashioned, hard-copy book, and enjoy the freedom you have to read without interruption. On most flights I take, I can start and finish a book, and I find I remember it better because I wasn’t interrupted.

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