Jet Lag Woes: Celebrities Share Their Tips

Jet Lag Woes: Celebrities Share Their Tips

Did you ever think we’d miss jet lag? Maybe it’s the one thing about travel we didn’t miss, but now that people are flying again, jet lag will be entering our lives again. Everyone handles it differently, but one thing is certain: fame, fortune and celebrity status won’t shield you from the drowsy lethargic effects of time zone hopping.

Checking in With the Jet Set Crowd

Before COVID interrupted life, I made the rounds at several celebrity-filled events including an Art Bodega Magazine party at the Russian Samovar restaurant; The MOMS Mamarazzi® party for Hello Bello; Women’s Day Red Dress Awards; Dujour Media’s party for “Aiming High”; Louisiana Tourism party at Little Owl restaurant; the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection; Advertising Week; Accessories Council media preview; a benefit for Renewal; and a Choose Chicago reception. At each event, I checked in with famous attendees to see how they manage jet lag. Who better to ask than those with a jet-set lifestyle, right?

Sleep Ranks High Among Jet Lag Remedies

Celebrities and Jet Lag on TravelSquire

Richard E. Grant from Star Wars: The Rise of Luke Skywalker suggests a bath and a nap. “Have a bath the moment you get to the other end and then go to sleep!”

Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey also says “Sleep it off!”

Dax Shepherd suggests sleep too, but wife Kristen Bell offers more ideas. “A good diet helps with jet lag. I pump Dax full of vitamins and adaptogens and healthy food. I’m in charge of food because I’m interested in it mostly!”

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson prefers getting some sleep but also understands it’s complicated. “Living in Malibu now, I find going east to west very tiring. Going west to east, I find inspiring. There’s nothing you can do about it. It all depends on why you’re traveling and what you have to do once you land. Can you rest; can you not? It’s just so different across the board.”

Celebrities and Jet Lag on TravelSquire

Can’t Sleep? Here’s a Few Ideas to Help You Snooze

Kate Pierson of B-52’s recommends “Melatonin — and stretching!”

Dr. Drew Pinsky is also a fan of melatonin. “Some people aren’t responsive to it, but it works very well for me. I don’t get jet lag flying to New York from Los Angeles, but across five or six time zones, I’m destroyed. Sometimes I take an Ambien to try to adjust, but it’s way better to use melatonin to get some natural sleep.”

Chef and Restaurateur Joey Campanaro touts the benefits of marijuana. “I don’t advise traveling with it or breaking the law, but [do it] if you have friends that will give it to you where you’re landing. CBD, THC, try a little bit; see what works best for you as soon as you land. It is a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.”

More Ideas: Food, Water, Exercise, Coffee and the Right Plane

“There’s no way you can avoid it. You have to just deal with it, drinking a lot of water while you’re on board and trying to get as much rest as possible,” says Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love. “We’re not natural flyers; the birds are. And the best thing to do is not eat. But if you do, it has to be something really simple, like soup or crackers. Eating a heavy meal before you fly is the worst.”

Katie Couric suggests exercise but admits she never does it. Celebrity stylist Kate Young says, “Drink a lot of coffee. Wear sunglasses to hide your tired eyes!”

Brian Kelly from The Points Guy focuses on the mode of transport. “Choose the right planes — newer planes. The 787 and A350 are much better for the body. They’re easier to sleep on; they’re quieter; and have better air quality.”

Distractions and Acclimation May Help

Celebrities and Jet Lag on TravelSquire

Comedian Ashley Blaker suggests, “Use the time you can’t sleep to watch or listen to my shows. Either you’ll love them and it’s time well-spent or they’ll send you to sleep, so it’s a win-win!”

“I try to acclimate myself — try to hit the ground running. I always eat before I leave and sleep on a plane,” shares Chef Michael Vignola. “I try to do the overnight red-eye flights, so I don’t lose days. I used to run nine different venues across the country, all different time zones. I lived on the road for three years doing that. It becomes a strange existence. I tried to never eat a heavy meal on a plane. I’d order a triple espresso with a splash of Coca-Cola as soon I got to the restaurant.”

Guitarist Wayne Baker Brooks also attempts to acclimate. “If I am going to perform across the ocean, I usually get in a day early. Depending on the time I arrive, I would stay up all night. I’d sleep all day the next day, wake up to go perform, then go back to the hotel after the gig and go back to sleep. Waking up the next morning I’ll at least be refreshed or maybe even feel like I’m on their time!”

Of Course, We Can Dream

Hopefully, in the future jet lag won’t need to be a topic of discussion. It still is because as the “Godfather of House Music,” DJ Chip E, wryly observed, “We still don’t have our jetpacks like The Jetsons or the ability for instantaneous molecular travel, as in Star Trek!”

What Do the Experts Say?

If you want solid jet lag advice, ask a professional. I caught up with University of Chicago professor of medicine Dr. Eve Van Cauter at a media preview for the Sleep Number 360 bed. Here’s what the renowned sleep expert had to say about jet lag.

“You have to think about the length of the flight; the direction of the jet lag; and the number of time zones that you’re crossing. The airplane environment is very dry, so you need to keep hydrated. You need to avoid alcoholic beverages because they actually dehydrate.”

As for melatonin, Dr. Cauter advises, “Melatonin will work if you take it three or four days in a row one hour before your new bedtime. Coming back to New York, it’s not going to help you as much. And really it’s a matter of being patient for a few days and knowing ahead of time that travel has its problems.” Wise words.