Before the flight
People are advised to get plenty of rest, exercise and follow a healthy diet. When the person is in good shape, it is easier to cope after landing.
During the flight
Long flights are dehydrating. Ask for "two orange juices with no ice" on the flight. Eat lightly, stay hydrated, and have no coffee and only minimal sugar until the flight's almost over. Alcohol and sedatives will stress your body and aggravate jet lag.
Avoid the slight chance of getting a blood clot in your leg during long flights by taking short walks hourly. While seated, flex your ankles and don't cross your legs. Some people are more prone to clots (factors include obesity, age, use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, smoking, or genetics).
The in-flight movies are good for one thing — nap time. With two or three hours' sleep during the transatlantic flight, you'll be functional the day you land.
Passengers are encouraged to exercise legs while sitting and move around the plane when the seat belt sign is switched off, every hour or two.
And, finally, adjust sleeping hours on the plane to match the destination time.
A helpful way to minimize the jet lag is to adapt to the local time and eat accordingly, following the meals that correspond. Also, exposure to sunlight during the day is helpful. On arrival, stay awake until an early local bedtime. If you doze off at 4 p.m. and wake up at midnight, you've accomplished nothing. Plan a good walk until early evening. Jet lag hates fresh air, daylight, and exercise. Your body may beg for sleep, but stand firm: Refuse. Force your body's transition to the local time. You'll probably awaken very early on your first morning. Trying to sleep later is normally futile. Get out and enjoy a "pinch me, I'm cruising the Mediterranean" walk, as the ship slowly comes to life. This will probably be the only sunrise you'll see in Europe.