How to Fight Honeymoon Jet Lag

Expert tips on getting past this good-time crushing sleep disorder.

Young couple with suitcases are looking through airport window while waiting for flight. Back view. Via Shutterstock

Young couple with suitcases are looking through airport window while waiting for flight. Back view. Via Shutterstock

You’re all pumped up and excited to explore [insert your honeymoon destination here]. But instead you just feel like staying in bed. And not in a sexy way. You want to sleep. A lot.

Welcome to jet lag, a temporary sleep disorder that occurs when you travel across time zones. You know what it is. Now you need to know how to get rid of it. There’s an old wives tale about putting your bare feet on grass or sand at your destination and wiggling your toes as soon as you can after arrival. Well, we haven’t tested that theory yet. However, here are a few expert tips that really will help you get over this overseas nightmare.

Before You Fly

Start off in good shape. In order to not get run down, don’t be run down to begin with. That means eat right, sleep right, and exercise. You probably have already been doing that for the wedding, but it bares repeating.

Move your bedtime. Several experts say that gradually changing when you go to sleep the nights prior to a trip can help you after you land. If traveling east, go to bed one hour earlier each night for a few nights before you leave. If you’re west-ward bound, go to bed an hour later.

Bring a pillow: When your hotel pillow can’t compare with your fluffy friend at home, you can’t expect to sleep well. So bring your own.

Leave on a calm note: Unless you’re leaving the morning after your wedding, try not to have a giant party the night before your trip. All you should be doing is sleeping stress-free. Pack everything for your trip 24 hours before you leave, so that the only thing on your mind is ZZZs.

During Your Flight

Watch the time: Changing the clock on your watch (don’t worry, your iWatch will probably do it for you) to the new local time gets you used to what lies ahead.

Don’t overindulge: Yes, it’s your honeymoon, but you can eat and drink all you want when you get where you’re going. Until then, keep the big meals, coffee, and champagne to a minimum. Instead drink plenty of water.

Go to sleep: Try to fall asleep on the plane, especially if you’re heading to Europe, which often means a morning arrival time.

At Your Destination

Get with the times: Base your sleep schedule on the time you arrive at your destination. In others words, go with the flow. If you get in at breakfast time, have breakfast. Walk around, see the sights, and stay up at least until 9 p.m. local time. If you simply must nap, do it for only 20 minutes.

Go toward the light: As if you needed more inspiration to get out and enjoy your honeymoon, according to the National Sleep Foundation, daylight is “a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock.” If you stay inside, you will only worsen jet lag which means you won’t be at your best for your honeymoon. And that is something to lose sleep over.


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