Believe it or not, there's a scientifically proven method to make jet lag less severe (4) — or even avoid it entirely.
It involves three steps:
1. Adjust your bedtime.
If you're traveling east, go to bed an hour earlier each night for seven days leading up to your trip.
If you're traveling west, go to bed an hour later each night.
It's okay if you can't do this for a whole week, or if you can't swing that full 7-hour adjustment. The point is to get your sleep schedule as close as possible to your destination. In this case, doing something is better than doing nothing.
2. Take melatonin supplements.
Eastbound: Take melatonin 2-3 hours before you hit the hay.
Westbound: Take melatonin 2-3 hours after waking.
Studies have shown 0.5-5mg to be effective melatonin dosages, and 80% of melatonin users had decreased jet lag symptoms.
Anything over 3mg could make you sleepy (5), though, so it's probably best to stick with lower dosages.
3. Use light therapy.
Getting exposure to light or using a bright light box can help fight jet lag.
If you're headed east, try to get 2-3 hours of light immediately after waking up. As your wakeup time moves into the darker hours (see #1 above), you'll need to use a bright light box.
Westbound? Flip it — shoot for 2-3 hours of light before bedtime.
These three steps will help trick your body clock into adjusting faster — especially if you can use all of them together. And they'll drastically improve the quality of those overseas business meetings.