Here are my proven tips to avoiding jet lag altogether. Jet lag is mostly a mind game, so if you control your thoughts and sleep pattern, you will be perfectly fine.
Short Hops – 3 to 5 hour differences
These are the easiest to beat. Once you are airborne, just change your clocks, watches, and computers to your target time. Remember that you now exist in the target time zone. Instead of saying, “Oh, my body is 3 hours ahead,” you now say, “The time is 6pm.” Remember to go to sleep at your normal numerical time.
Longer Hops – 6-12 hour differences
Because flights that take you to far away time zones are often 8-17 hours, you need to be a bit more strategic.
Option 1: Don’t sleep at all and power through to 8pm local time. I almost always do this because I cannot sleep on a plane (at least not without a bed). The downside is staying awake that long leads to phases of being super awake to wanting to pass out. Make a commitment to only pass out at 8pm local time, if your flight gets in before then. The great thing is the next day you should be perfectly fine as long as you get up at a normal local time like 7am.
Option 2: sleep during the flight. Any sleep must be done during the target time zone’s night. Once you are in the air, change your clocks to the target time. Now go to sleep once it is your target night time. Usually this sleep time coincides with the airline’s service schedule. If you are traveling East, this works well. If you travel West, you may often end up leaving in the day and landing during the day. In that case you may want to stay awake the whole time, although you will be tired at the end.