Ancient Roman philosopher Epictetus wrote that one must first control his eating habits, and then he must control his sleeping habits. We can use his advice in our three tips for travelers crossing the Atlantic to stay in Italy.
1 Travel Day — Wear Sunglasses
One of the main ways to control your circadian rhythm, sleep / wake schedule, is to control your exposure to light. Wear sunglasses in the airports and on the plane to help you get to sleep and don’t take them off until your wake up time at home so if you rise at 6am Eastern, take off your sunglasses at 12:00n in Italy. As you prepare for bedtime on your first day, making it as close as you can to local, normal time, avoid bright lights that might cause trouble getting to sleep. Maybe read a book instead of watching tv or checking email. On your first morning in Italy, force yourself to get up early and get some sun, so throw open those shutters and head out to the bakery for fresh cornetti, “croissants” in Italian.
2 The First Meal in Italy. Make it Count.
Controlling your diet is the second best way to feed your body the time. Travel can take a lot out of a person so you’ll probably be hungry. We recommend getting the first meal of your trip on Italian time even that means fasting while your on the plane. Avoid spicy food, junk food and sweets on your first day, replenish with high quality fuel. A glass of wine may be tempting on the plane or after a long journey, if you can resist then you will make adjusting to Italian time so much easier.
3 Melatonin and Herbal Remedies
Travelers who are especially sensitive to jet lag take a melatonin supplement to help getting to sleep on the plane or at their vacation rental. Melatonin is a hormone that is already present in the body, it circulates in at varying levels throughout the day and controls our sleep / wake schedules.