Avoid Jet Lag with our Top 10 Tips
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Probably the best tip is #10. There's research out there (http://www.ergoflex.com.au/sleepcentre/how-do-you-cure-jet-lag ) that suggests a person can completely avoid jet lag by fighting sleepiness on arrival and going to bed at the local normal bed time (whatever yours is). This is equally true if you arrive deep into the night. Either sleep and set an alarm, or stay awake till the next day.
I had a Pulmonary Embolism (close cousin to a DVT) in 2006 and travelled from Australia to the USA and Canada in 2008 without incident. The only special strategies we used were to stop in Hawaii each way for a few days - NOT an imposition at all; and to drink water more often than I otherwise would.
Limiting your flights to 9 or so hours is a great way to beat jet lag!
A Harvard study found that you can use food to quickly fix your body clock. Don't eat for the 8 hours you are supposed to be sleeping, but do have something to eat, even a small snack at the end of it. Your body will wake up at whatever time you had that snack.
Don't believe me? Try setting an alarm and having a sandwich at 3am. I guarantee you'll wake up at 3am the next night.
I disagree with hint number 2. I always had horrible jet lag when I took night flights. Then I started taking flights that left early in the morning and arriving at night. I found that if I went to sleep shortly after arrival, I would wake up the next morning and have a normal day with little or not jet lag.
We tried waiting to pack for Europe (eastbound) until the night before we were leaving and by 6 p.m. departure time of flight, we were ready to sleep, waking refreshed in London. Also necessary to eat a big meal when you arrive.
It is easy to help keep circulation moving even while sitting in the airplane seat by stretching out your legs in place, under the seat in front of you, and drawing small circles with your feet, first one direction, then the other. Learned this from a LeMaze instructor thirty years ago when I was pregnant and it is a handy exercise,
Another sitting exercise is to do alternating knee lifts in place.
Chico's travel pants, flight stockings, a neck pillow and a Pashmina shawl used like a burka help me create a comfortable, dark cocoon in which my light sedative can do its job. I like the comfort of the warm airline meal , and can usually go back into the sleepy "zone" if I listen to calming music while staring at the flight pattern, imagining my destination and what people are doing there at the curent time.
Another Magnesium warning--- most people get the dribbling poopies within a few hours of taking Magnesium, especially the first few times. I would not suggest Mg for an overseas flight. And, I always wear the compression socks--I love those things. I take my shoes off when I board. But make sure you pack a pair of firm sole slippers in your carryon. By the end of the flight, the toilet floors are wet and disgusting. Catnap whenever you get the chance.
coming from SF, we usually stop for a few days in either NYC or Atlanta. Helps us enjoy our European time without having major jet lag.
i know everyone says don't sleep before bed time. i find a 1 hour nap in the afternoon, once settled into our room, refreshes one greatly, preparing for an enjoyable evening of activities. you won't miss a single night of fun.
Please........on a Travel site !! The clock for my home town of SYDNEY is shown as SIDNEY .... shame.
I find that going to bed at the normal destination bedtime is the biggest help. If I fly overnight, I do not sleep that well. Once I get settled in at my destination, I take a nap (no more than 2 hours). Depending on how far I travel, I am normally awake by about noon and ready to go for the day. If I do not get that nap, or wait until later in the day, I just feel like a zombie.
I'm fortunate to adapt pretty quickly to local time zones--mostly because I'm so sleep deprived by the time I leave that my body is happy to fall into any normal routine in a foreign time zone!
For the women who follow this string, I suggest wearing a pair of pantihose on the plane--it keeps the blood from pooling in your legs where it may form clots. I can still remove my shoes and don a pair of flight socks. I don't sleep well on planes, and I drink a lot of water, so I'm usually up every 2-3 hours for a trip to the loo--and while waiting in line, I do leg swings or march in place to keep my blood circulating. Wearing pantihose also makes it easier to get your shoes back on at the end of the flight--your feet won't be swollen.
I agree that you need to fall into the local time when you get to your destination. Only think about what time it is at home if you have to call someone there.
One simple thing I do after arriving several times zones away is to avoid the temptation to peak at the time "back home". It's much better to immerse yourself totally into your new environment. I avoid this for at least a week after arriving at my destination. Peaking at the time back home will only serve to confuse your brain on what time it "really is".
For overseas travel, I take note of teh Arrival time at the destination. If the flight arrives in AM, I do my best to catch as much sleep as possible; on arrival I keep busy (outdoors in sunlight to teh extent possible) then go to bed at a 'normal' evening time.
If Flight arrives in afternoon or early evening, I stay awake on teh flight, press on with activities at the destination even though tired, until a relatively 'normal' bedtime. No jet lag. Heading East to Europe, leave in the evening (US time) and sleep all the way. Heading west to Asia/Australia (much longer flights), take flight arriving in the AM...stay active/awake on the flight until 8 hours before arrival, sleep as much of that time as possible. As mentioned, if possible take Business Class and advise Flight attendant NEVER to disturb you for meals if you are sleeping...even pre-arrival snack/breakfasts.
Regent, I would still try to sleep on the flight. We have travelled at least 10 times overseas and have always preferred the evening, overnight flight. Unless you are very lucky, you will doze more than sleep on the flight. Getting to the airport, through security to your flight, the flight, disembarking, passport control and customs, finding your luggage, finding your way to your hotel, etc.etc.-- you will be tired. And a light sleeping pill that first night will do the trick (no alcohol of course).
Bon voyage and have a great time!
Any advice?: we're flying overnight from West Coast USA and arriving in Italy in the evening. If we sleep on the plane, we won't be tired to go to sleep when we land. I'm guessing the pro-travelers would advise to NOT sleep long on the flight.
For many years, I have been taking No Jet Lag tablets during my international flights and taking Airborne tablets. It has made a huge difference. I may be a bit tired, but I don't have that "fuzzy" feeling like I did on my first trip to the UK in 1994, where I was pretty much out of it for 5-7 hours the first day.
I know that it is recommended to not sleep during the day up on arrival and go to sleep at 8-9 pm, but with this new routine of Airborne and No Jet Lag, I arrive at the B&B and take a 2-hour nap and feel great the rest of the day.
Re Magnesium: If you tend to get leg cramps, magnesium may be helpful. Be aware, however, that it tends to work as a laxative for most people!
I've had very good luck with "No Jet Lag" which you can purchase at REI or online. It's homeopathic and has worked great for other overseas travelers that I have spoken to as well.
For some years, my husband and I have practiced "pre-emptive jet lag." A week before our flight to France, we get up each day 1/2 hour earlier (and of course go to bed 1/2 hour earlier. And it feels alright to be like a little kid and go to bed at 8:00 pm!). So by flight day we are getting up at 3:30- 4:00 AM. On flight day, our tradition is to be "the first customers at Phil's" at 6:00 AM. (Western Canadians will understand.) We walk there (1/2 hour) and back again. Then mess about doing last minute chores. Take a nap at 11:00. Mid afternoon light meal and head to the airport for the "3 hours early" for international flights. No kidding around, we do feel rotten. BUT we sleep reasonably well on the flight "No thank you, we don't want supper." ) I do wear flight socks and when I stir make sure I flex my legs. AND -- by day 2 we are on France's time zone and feel just fine! I'd rather have jet lag at home than on holidays.
Calgary Alberta Canada
You don't need to walk the whole time to avoid DVT. The best method is to sleep for 2-3 hours then take a short walk to the back of the plane and stretch. Don't worry if people look at you strange for stretching, it really helps. Although this will interrupt your sleeping, I doubt you would really be able to sleep soundly anyway.
Get as much sleep as possible and walk around once every 3 hours!
Someone recently told me that magnesium is a relaxer and suggested I take 500 mg during a long flight as a natural way to assist sleep. Has anyone ever tried that? Is it effective?
#6 Is what got me in deep trouble.. On a flight from Rome via Zurich to Boston I slept almost the entire time. Three days later I was admitted to the local hospital to the Special Care Unit with blood clots in my lungs (DVT)..which developed in my legs because of my sleeping and not walking the aisles..I am still dealing with the effects of that flight...So forget the sleeping and the sleeping pills, wear special stockings and walk the aisles.
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