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Calgary To London tips to avoid Jetlag

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Jun 28th, 2012, 10:57 PM
  #1
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Calgary To London tips to avoid Jetlag

I am travelling from YYC to LHR. Departing at 15:00 Calgary time and arriving 06:30 London time. I need to be alert and awake at work at 11:00 (am) London time (ie. shortly after I arrive) and have a long day in London ahead of me.

What is the best way for me to approach this flight?

Immovane (Zopiclone) and sleep the whole flight, waking up before landing and heading off into the London day with 6 hours sleep under my belt?

I'm aware I'm not going to avoid jet lag, but I'm curious, from other's experiences, what is the best way to deal with this flight?

p.s. While you're at it, I depart London at 10:30 am and arrive in Calgary at 12:50 pm local time for my return trip later in the week. What is my best strategy for the return?
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Jun 28th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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Flight time is 8.5 hours.
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Jun 29th, 2012, 06:06 AM
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I'm not saying it would work for anyone else, but for us, it works to take an Ambien when we get on the plane and sleep the flight away.
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Jun 29th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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I do the same with Ambien, taking a half tablet (5 mg) as soon as possible after take-off, donning eye-shade and earplugs, and sleeping through meal service, etc. I usually awake after 4 hours or so, use the washroom, rehydrate with 8-12 ounces of water, take another half-tablet of Ambien and sleep until it's time to 'prepare the cabin for landing.'

Actually, there's no way to avoid jet-lag. It is what it is. Your body lands at the time it knows it is at home, and it takes about one day for each hour of time change before your inner time clock is fully adjusted to your new time zone. But I find I can handle the jet-lag better if I get as much sleep as possible whenever I can and stay well hydrated. I also use Ambien the first few nights abroad to combat the 2am wake-ies.
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Jun 29th, 2012, 04:19 PM
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All the above works -- but won't totally eliminate jetlag. If you suffer from it, there isn't much you can do.

But you'll probably be fine that day at work. I find I function perfectly well during my arrival day. It is that night and the next couple of days that I suffer.
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Jun 29th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Going indoors the day you arrive, is not very good for you.

My best bet is to fly in a day early and stay outside the first day.

I also take melatonin, beginning about 2-3 days before flying, to help me adjust to the time difference.
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Jun 30th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Whether to take a sedative-hypnotic like Abien or Zopiclone is a matter of some controversy among sleep experts. In any case, don't take it for the first time on the airplane. A fair number of people have adverse reactions, the most common of which is "sleep walking/eating/driving." When you read about someone doing something outrageous on a flight, a fair number of those people took a medication that impaired their judgment.

You do want to sleep as much as you can on the flight. Take a neck pillow or eyeshades or noise canceling headphones - whatever helps you. Drink plenty of water; avoid alcohol.

When you get to London, spend time outdoors. Exposure to early morning sunlight will help re-set your body clock. You don't need a whole day of sunlight, even as little as 20-30 minutes will help.

If you really need to be alert and able to function well cognitively, you would be wisest to fly the day before.

Melatonin can be very helpful for those who are melatonin responders. Rasta, I don't know why you take melatonin for several days before flying, as you thereby reduce the effectiveness of the melatonin. If you want to try melatonin, use it to help you fall asleep the first few nights in your new location. Take it 20-30 minutes before you wish to fall asleep, follow your usual sleep routine, and then get out into the sun early each morning. Melatonin has optimum effectiveness for only a few days.
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Jun 30th, 2012, 11:24 PM
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It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway (and agree with Kathie), that Ambien or similar drugs should be used only with your physician's guidance and certainly not for the first time when flying. And by all means be very cautious with the extended-release form, Ambien CR, which is linked with sleep walking and other adverse reactions.
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Jul 1st, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Kathie - I take it for a couple of days, and go to bed earlier and earlier each night before a trip.

This is a trick I learned 20 years ago from FAs flying long haul to the Far East.

I violate every other 'rule' on a plane about alcohol, etc....

As long as the first day is mostly outdoors, I feel great.
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Jul 1st, 2012, 09:10 PM
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I see, you take the "get into the time zone early" approach. Sounds like it works for you.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 05:38 PM
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The west-to-east is much easier for me than the east-to-west change.......
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Jul 8th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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There's no reliable way of avoiding jetlag. And the one, essential, piece of advice is to understand you'll be a liability to the business for the first two days

Whatever advice you take, there's a very, very high likelihood you won't be functioning properly at 1100 on the morning you arrive. Anyone who tells you different isn't just lying: they believe their own macho claptrap into the bargain.

This doesn't really matter if you're just coming to gawp at a few museums: it might destroy your career if you don't realise how below-par you are and walk into a meeting where you've got to make decisions or at the very least present yourself as a normal person.

Get as much sleep as you can on the plane (my formula is to eat as much as possible before embarking, with a couple of glasses of wine). Do as much light exercise outdoors on arriving as you can - even if it's pouring with rain. Pay far more attention to getting your brain in gear than to your appearance: colleagues accept people looking scruffy after a red eye but they're no more tolerant of rudeness, absent-mindedness or stupidity from someone mentally eight timezones away than from someone who came in on the 7.43 from Chislehurst.

Above all: procrastinate as much as you possibly can. By arrival day plus 2, you'll be more or less OK (some exceptional people manage it on arrival day plus 1). Put off absolutely everything you can till then. And in the meantime: repeat this to yourself: "I am not functioning properly". Where before you might have counted to ten before saying anything important, treble your response time.
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Jul 9th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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Flanner is correct, no matter what you do, you will not be functioning on all cylinders.

I personally would not take a sleeping drug. I don't think it is wise to be that out of it on a flight.

I fly YYZ to LHR and do the following:

~Wear something that you can be comfortable sleeping in.
~ Take Rescue remedy sleep (by Borion) when I get on the plane. It's a homopathic remedy that helps relax you so you can fall asleep.
~Eat lightly before you get on the plane and while on the plane.
~Hydrate - start before you get plane and continue on the plane. I ask for a big bottle of water once on the plane and it's not usually an issue for the FA to give me one.
~Bring a sleep mask and ear plugs.
~Get sleep before you leave, don't start your trip in a deficit.

AS for coming home. I don't sleep on the flight home. I stay up and go to bed at a reasonable time once home.
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