Avoid appearing jet lagged that is. The President, Vice President, Secretary of State etc. often fly around the world and appear, with a few exceptions, to be awake and alert when they arrive. Granted, they are pampered much more than your typical business traveler, but biology is biology, and having flown around the world many times myself it usually takes me about 24 hours to really feel like I am on top of things mentally.
I know there are special pills you can take that supposedly reset your biological clock, and I doubt they have the same trouble sleeping in a plane as I did since they probably have comfortable beds, but are there any other tricks they use or are they just very good at not appearing jet lagged when they travel around the globe?
Having worked around several high-level folks and worked SecState visits and the Clinton-Bush I tsunami tour, I can attest that they do get tired and just need to crash sometimes, but that they’re usually used to working 12-16 hours a day anyhow, so they’re also used to getting less sleep. I’ve done it myself during crisis periods, with international travel, and while jet lag can start to be a problem, if you’re working a lot, you just have less time to be tired. Also, there’s car rides and chopper trips to crash out on. Clinton in particular is fond of 10-minute power naps.
These folks also push water, lots of Diet Coke and I’m sure that someone has a few No-Doz around. A combination of that and being used to it usually gets you through.
I have a co-worker who runs international sales for our company and who is constently flying in and out of one country or another. He will arrive after a long flight in some strange country and is able to show up at an 8 AM meeting “fresh as a daisy”. He doesn’t ever look tired. He says that he prefers “red eye” flights (where he flies all night).
I think his trick is that he can sleep soundly on a plane, no matter what, and that he showers at the airport as soon as he lands. That combination apparently is enough for him to get through the first day. I can’t sleep well on a plane so that may be why I can’t bounce back as quickly as some folks…
Actually, let me clarify–at least all the major European airports I’ve been in had public shower facilities–Munich, Frankfurt, Heathrow, etc. I’ve never had need to look for showers in American airports, so I really can’t attest to that. I know O’Hare has one in the Hilton that travelers can use, but don’t have generally accessible ones like the airports I’ve named.
SFO and LAX have shower facilities,and I’m pretty sure the Admirals and Red Carpet Clubs at Washington National and Dulles do as well. Nearly every international airport in Asia offers this, as do several in Europe as noted above.