Travel nursing can be an incredible career option for nurses looking to experience something new. It allows a nurse to travel to new destinations, meet new people, and work in different settings. Of course, all of that travel can lead to something that no one likes to deal with: jet lag. While jet lag can be rough, there are actually ways to speed up recovery from it. Check out the tips below to find out how to quickly recover from jet lag before starting a new travel nursing job. 

Practice the Travel Nurse Schedule Before You Leave

If you can, try adapting to your new travel nurse schedule before you even leave for the job. Try sleeping the hours that you will be sleeping while in the new position, whatever your current time zone. This may not make the transition perfect by any means, but it can certainly help. Your body will at least be tired and able to sleep near the hours that you will need for the new schedule. 


Of course, if you are a fan of coffee or some other caffeinated beverage, then it is going to be your best friend for a short time. Caffeine is not a miracle cure for jet lag, but it can help keep you awake and alert until it is actually time to go to sleep. When it is nearing time to wind down and get ready for bed, be sure to discontinue caffeine consumption. In fact, you should stop consuming it at least a couple hours before you begin to wind down. This will make it easier to go to sleep when you are ready. 

Eat a Proper Diet

The right diet can be important for overcoming jet lag. Eating the right foods will help your body be better able to adapt and adjust to a new schedule. Conversely, if you are consuming lots of sugar or processed foods, it can throw your body off by keeping you awake or causing a sugar crash

Timing Your Flight

It may be a good idea to get a flight that will arrive at the destination around the time that you would be waking up on your new schedule. This can help you quickly adapt to the new schedule and you should be plenty tired by the time that you should be going to bed. Plus, you can try to sleep on the place as much as possible in attempts to combat being tired when you arrive. 

Enjoy the Daylight

If it is daytime when you arrive in your new destination, then do not stay inside. Try to get out as soon as possible and enjoy the day. The sunlight exposure will help to tell your body that this is time that you should be awake. Plus, being up and about will give you energy and keep you awake. Once it gets a bit later, you can head home and begin to wind down for bedtime. 

How Long Does Jet Lag Last?

The length of jet lag can vary depending on the person and how far they have traveled. Following the tips above should help to offset some of the jet lag symptoms. Before you know it, you will be well adjusted and enjoying your new travel nursing position. 

Considering a Career as a Travel Nurse?

If you have considered becoming a travel nurse, then contact us here at New Directions Staffing today. We work to find the right fit in a position that aligns with your goals and ambitions. Give us a call with any questions that you may have.