Jet lag – the ultimate travel hacks

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Jet lag is something that I’ve battled with for some time. While some trips have been bearable, there have been several occasions when it’s been very painful with little sleep.  I’ve flown Transatlantic many times and faced different challenges when flying east and west.

Flying east, I found it difficult to sleep on the flight. As I’m 6 ft 2 inches, sleeping in business class is difficult and in economy it’s almost next to impossible.  When I land, I’m sleep deprived and can’t function for most of the day.  If I take a nap, it would ruin my sleep patterns for the next 2 -3 days.

Flying west, I work during the whole flight and stay up as late as I can but despite trying many things, I always wake up at 3-4am and can’t get back to sleep. I wake up so refreshed and wide awake – it’s a “oh, NO” moment – “I’m awake now!”  Then I crash and burn in late afternoon.

Trust me, I’ve tried everything from:

  1. drinking a boat load of booze to knock me out
  2. eating a big meal
  3. eating nothing
  4. avoiding booze and hydrating
  5. staying up until 11pm
  6. going to sleep early

You’ve got the message, haven’t you?  Nothing was working for me.

Recently,  I went on a business trip to the US and flew in economy class both ways.  I was determined to try a few bio hacks to hack the dreaded jetlag.

Two devices really made a difference to this trip:

  1. The HumanCharger®
  2. TrueDark™ Glasses

This trip was much better than any other I’ve made before and this is how I helped hack my jet lag:

Flying to London to Chicago (12:30pm flight)

  • On the flight, I drank no booze, only had water and refused to eat the food – if you can really call it food. I drank a lot of water on the flight, probably 2 litres.
  • When I landed at 4pm local time (10pm UK), I checked into the hotel and used the HumanCharger® for 12 minutes at 6pm. After having dinner in the hotel, I had a beer and a glass of wine.
  • At 8:30pm, I put on the TrueDark™ glasses and fell asleep by 21:30, and woke up at 5am the next day. While in the US, I used the HumanCharger® for 12 minutes every day, especially whenever I felt tired. I’m pretty sure that it was not a placebo given recent research, but each time I felt like I was going to hit the wall, the HumanCharger® picked me up.

Flying from New York to London:

  • I ate a large lunch earlier in the day, had a snack in the airport and avoided food on the plane
  • As soon as I got on the plane, I put on the TrueDark™ glasses – I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open and fell asleep straight away. During the 5hr 50 min flight, I slept around 4 hours.
  • When I got home, I continued the use of the HumanCharger® and took some PQQ / CoQ10.
  • I also took a walk around the garden in bare feet to help ground myself to discharge the static that would have been built up in my body during the flight.

What are the TrueDark™ glasses?


Not all light is created equal and the wrong lighting at the wrong time of day can ruin your sleep, performance and health. TrueDark™ Twilight technology frees your hormones and neurotransmitters to do their best work, resulting in:

Improved sleep quality – maximize control of your circadian rhythm. Your body doesn’t signal melatonin if your melanopsin-infused sensors are seeing daytime colors. Note that common blue blockers don’t cover the wavelengths that impact melanopsion.

Reduced brain inflammation – increased melatonin release = lower brain inflammation

Supported weight loss – Leptin is a light sensitive hormone that peaks at night and signals to our brains how much fat storage we have. Red light and darkness move leptin levels into patterns associated with less hunger.

Increased energy and focus – Better sleep and less eye strain result in more energy.

Inhibited conditions that can be caused or made worse by light at night – such as macular degeneration and other vision problems, cancer, aging, diabetes, stroke, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmunity and gastric conditions.

Patent pending TrueDark Twilight is the first and only solution designed to filter out ALL of the sleep and performance robbing wavelengths in the evening hours.

What is the HumanCharger®?


Invented in Finland, HumanCharger® is a bright light therapy device that has a unique and patented mechanism of action which stimulates the photosensitive proteins on the surface of the brain using a calibrated white light that passes through the ear canals. Using the HumanCharger® for only 12 minutes a day can significantly increase your energy levels, improve mood and increase your mental alertness.

Be in sync, all the time.

Exposure to light helps maintain the rhythm of our natural body clock, so with HumanCharger® you always feel more energized.

Tip for the shift workers: Use HumanCharger® for just 12 minutes every two hours when you feel most tired! You can use it while you work as it will not affect your ability to perform your daily tasks.

Helps to alleviate jet lag symptoms.

If your flight is eastward, use HumanCharger® from the morning until noon, at two-hour consecutive intervals up to four times. For a westward travel, use HumanCharger® from late afternoon to evening, at two-hour consecutive intervals up to four times. Repeat each day until you feel recovered.

Perfect defense against winter blues.

Winter blues is a mild version of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Use the HumanCharger® on a regular basis once a day, at the same time each day, within two hours of waking up.

Things I will look to improve in the future:

  1. Using the HumanCharger® App, which tells you exactly when to use the device based on your travel.
  2. I took the opportunity while travelling, to cycle my vitamins and supplements, but I do think that by targeting my supplementation while travelling, I will be able to improve my sleep.

If you’re interesting in learning more about biohacking, why not get in touch for a 1 hour free complementary coaching session.

About Nick

Nick Powell is the founder of Stronger Self and he works with entrepreneurs and senior leaders to enable them to take their personal and professional performance to the next level.

Nick’s approach uses cutting edge tools and techniques from the worlds of biohacking, productivity, anti-aging and neuroscience; harnessing the exciting intersection between biology and technology.

Nick has developed his Peak Performance Coaching Programmes to enable his clients to deliver extraordinary results across all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

He runs his Coaching sessions face to face in London & Surrey and across the World via Zoom.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Matt

    Hey – I’m on a transatlantic flight next week but need to be in a good state for my wedding anniversary the day I return (land 0630). If you were to invest in only 1 of these which would it be?

  2. Nick Powell

    Great question Matt – I’d say the TrueDark glasses for a few reasons:

    1. I have more experience with them than the HumanCharger
    2. You can buy them in the US when you reach your hotel – so you save import duties
    3. They are a lower cost investment
    4. TrueDark knock me out if I wear them for 45-60mins

    Enjoy your flight


  3. Donna

    WOW fascinating! Thanks for this article, I’ve bookmarked it for my next long journey

    1. Nick Powell

      Thanks Donna – I really appreciate the feedback

  4. Jo Romero

    This is interesting – some good tips – we don’t go on long journeys very often but a couple of years ago I flew back from Argentina and didn’t know what day it was for about a week afterwards! Great tips 🙂

  5. Darryl

    Thanks for a great post on jetlag hacks. I travel long haul often and have accumulated a few of my own tricks and have also used the Humancharger in the past, great to see your success with it!

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