Dealing With Jet Lag

Each year I fly all over the world to speak and conduct seminars.

I fly east to Britain, Europe and Russia, often crossing eight, nine and even thirteen time zones from San Diego to my destination. I fly west to Australia, South East Asia and India, often crossing as many as twelve time zones before returning to San Diego. But I never have jet lag.

The Facts About Jet Lag

Medical researchers have studied jet lag for many years. They have concluded that because of the long distances traveled in pressurized aircraft, combined with the complete time change that the body goes through on long trips, the human system becomes disoriented and inefficient.

Without taking the proper steps, it requires approximately one day to recover from each one hour of time change. This means that, if you flew from California to England, a time change of eight hours, you would require approximately eight days before your mind and body functioned efficiently in the new time zone.

Overcoming Jet Lag

However, using my system, which I have shared with many International business people, you can travel great distances and have no jet lag problems at all.

My method has four parts:

1) Hydration

Hydration: Your body loses a minimum of one pint of water per hour of flying. This means that you should drink at least one pint or more per hour for every
hour that you are in the air.

When I fly, I either take a large bottle of water on the plane with me, or ask the flight attendant to keep my water glass full the entire flight.

When you drink a lot of water while flying, your body will swell up like a small balloon. But don’t worry. Within a few hours of landing, your body will go back to normal. All the excess liquid will drain away.

2) How to Get on Your New Time as Quickly as Possible

When you fly from west to east, from America to Europe, your first goal is to get onto the European times as quickly as possible. To achieve this goal, you must resist the natural tendency to go to sleep as soon as you depart from a US airport.

Many people who depart from Los Angeles at 4:00 pm put on their eye patches and go to sleep, even though their Los Angeles bedtime is not for several hours. Going to sleep too early confuses your body clock and makes it very hard to adjust to European time when you arrive.

What I do is to stay awake for most of the trip, only taking a short nap of one or two hours about four hours before arriving in Europe. This is just enough to give you sufficient rest and energy to carry you through the first day in Europe.

3) Hot Water

Hot water: This is the most important part of all. Whether you eat a lot or a little, drink a lot or a little, take a lot of vitamins or no vitamins, melatonin or no melatonin, the most powerful single factor in overcoming jet lag is hot water.

Especially when traveling from West to East, it is absolutely essential that you take a hot bath the afternoon or evening of your arrival.

Make the water as hot as you possibly can. Discipline yourself to sit in the hot water for five minutes for every one hour of time change. This is essential!

If you fly from California to England, a time change of eight hours, you must discipline yourself to sit in hot water for a minimum of forty minutes the day of your arrival.

If you arrive in the middle of the day, schedule your hot bath for later in the afternoon. After a hot bath, it will take about the same length of time to cool down completely.

If you sit in hot water for forty minutes, you will require at least forty minutes to cool down and get back to normal.

If you take this bath late in the afternoon, you can then take a one hour nap. Because the hot water will have relaxed all your muscles, you will sleep deeply for this one hour and awake quite refreshed.

I always take a couple of cups of coffee after I wake up and then meet my clients or friends for dinner and begin my activities at the new time.

If you arrive late in the afternoon or evening, you must discipline yourself to take a long, hot bath, five minutes for every hour of time change, then cool down and go straight to sleep for the rest of the night.

4) What To Do the Next Day

If you have followed the instructions above, when you wake up on your first full day in a new time zone, 90% of your jet lag will have
disappeared. Before you get out of bed, you will feel extremely tired, but as soon as you begin moving, all your tiredness will disappear.

I immediately drink two cups of coffee upon arising in a new time zone. This seems to eliminate any lingering jet lag and makes me ready to go to work.


It is quite common for me to fly to Europe on a Thursday night, arrive on Friday and take my hot bath, and begin speaking on Saturday morning. I will then speak all day Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, or even longer, and often in different countries, with no jet lag at all.

When I have shared this formula with other International travelers, they have often phoned me from other parts of the world to tell me how incredible they feel after the hot bath.

On two occasions, over the years, I neglected to take a hot bath at the end of a long flight. In both cases, I was exhausted for several days. This proved to me that it is not a matter of “positive thinking” or anything else. It is scientific, biologically sound, consistent with what we know about body rhythms, and demonstrably provable to anyone who tries this method for the first time.

Good luck.

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

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