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Advice for direct 18-hour flight Singapore to USA to avoid jet lag

Advice for direct 18-hour flight Singapore to USA to avoid jet lag

Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 01:20 AM
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Advice for direct 18-hour flight Singapore to USA to avoid jet lag

Hi - It was pretty easy coming from Newark to Singapore when we left at midnight and arrived in Singapore around 6 AM on the direct flight, but now that it's time to return, I'm wondering what would be the best advice on how or when I should sleep in order to avoid as much jet lag upon our return.
Tonight is our last night in Singapore.
I'm wondering if I should purposely try to not sleep as long as I would, so that I'm somewhat fatigued, and am able to sleep as much as I can on our 12 noon direct 18-hour flight to Newark tomorrow.
I know to avoid caffeine, etc... but am just not sure about the sleeping part.
It was easy to sleep on the flight here considering it was midnight when we started off...
When we finally arrive in Newark, it will be 5PM - after we get our bags, and go through customs, we have a 3-hr drive from the airport to our home, so we'll be getting to our house around 9-9:30PM. Thank you very much for any advice - your experience is always appreciated very much!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 03:02 AM
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I would sleep in the middle (maybe 11pm Sing time), then stay awake for the remainder of the flight after you wake up. No matter what, you'll still be jet lagged the next day, but this might allow you to sleep well when you get home.

I've done the same flight to LAX and felt pretty good when I got home. Problems started the next day.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 03:21 AM
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My experience has always been that the US-Asia flight leaves me with little jet lag, but the Asia-US flight always disturbs my sleep patterns for about two weeks. thers have reprted similar. If you figure something out, please let us know.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 03:43 AM
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>>>Tonight is our last night in Singapore.
I'm wondering if I should purposely try to not sleep as long as I would, so that I'm somewhat fatigued, and am able to sleep as much as I can on our 12 noon direct 18-hour flight to Newark tomorrow.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 05:04 AM
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Gpanda - I have the exact same issue when I fly west to Asia - going is a breeze and the return is hell.

I have been told it has something to do with the rotation of the earth. When I flew east to India via Europe, I can report that going was harder than coming, so maybe there is something to that.

A few years ago there was a study that if you eat very little while flying, it helps with jetlag. Perhaps the OP can test this theory out!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 05:30 AM
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I've been told that you should set your watch to local time when you board the plane and eat corresponding meals. We're about to fly from LA to Bangkok on a midnight flight, so I'd like to pretend it's about noon(BKK time) and stay awake until at least 8pm (BKK time), which means I'd have to stay awake all night on the plane. Then, I'd take an Ambien and sleep for hopefully 6 or 7 hours. However, then I'd expect dinner to be served in about 6 hrs., but instead they serve breakfast. I'll probably be the only person watching movies and annoying everyone else sleeping (except for my husband who I'll keep poking to stay awake!)
Anyway, that's the plan...whether I can do it is another matter.

Also, I use the homeopathic Anti-jet lag pills and they have helped in the past.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 05:57 AM
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Okay, guys, this is all interesting! It's almost time to go! We kind of decided that we'll do as barefootbeach says to do, and try to adhere to USA time once onboard. We're going to try to short-change our sleep a little tonight, so that we wake up earlier than we want to wake up, so we're tired, and then once on the plane, as soon as they're finished serving the first meal, we're going to 'hit the hay'... and just hope for the best. This is my first time experiencing this kind of flight. When my husband did this same flight last year, he had a horrible time (3-weeks, it seemed) adjusting to our time.
Eventually, it'll work out. It will be ineresting at best.
Singapore is great. Yes, parting IS sweet sorrow! Wish it were closer to the USA!
Thanks everyone!
Goodnight now! (but not for long!)
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 05:38 AM
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As an update, I thought I'd let you know that -
The night before the noon flight, I went to bed a little later than usual, and I woke up at 4:45AM instead of my usual 7AM, so I was a little fatigued.
Once on the flight, I took a low-dose sleeping pill 4 hours into the flight, (4:00 PM their time), and slept just shy of 3 hours, waking up just before 7:30PM (their time). At 8:00PM, I tried to go to sleep again, but just couldn't, so I I waited until 11:00PM and I slept until 4:30AM. By then there was only 2-hours remaining until the plane landed, and I felt great!
When we got to our house, it was (our time now) 9:30PM, and I was very tired. I went to bed at 11:15, and slept until 6:25AM. I feel fine. Don't know what I did right, but I feel like maybe this is going to be easier than I thought. Thanks for your suggestions. I hope I will be able to help someone else with the same question I had.
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Old Mar 4th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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Unfortunately..wait a day or two and it will hit you. Usually the first is ok, but only because you have forced it. I find it takes 3-5 days to begin to reset your internal clock.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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>>>Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old Mar 8th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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I've managed to do OK this time around, guys!
Yes, you're right - it DID come back to haunt me perhaps 3 days afterwards. I got suddenly VERY tired around 5PM, and it got worse as the night wore on.
It's been perhaps 5, 6 nights since we've been back, and I feel it's still a little 'off'.
I wonder what a good place to stopover at on the way home from Asia would be to help us out in this jetlag department?
Instead of flying direct home, where could we stop and for how long, before coming full circle back to the East Coast of the US?
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Old Mar 8th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Stopping part-way home doesn't help jetlag, especially when you are doing a day for night switch. Indeed, it prolongs it.

Technically, it takes one day per time zone crossed for you to fully adapt to a new time zone (that includes all the physiological measures). But if you manage it right, you can be functional much sooner. I've returned from Asia a number of times on a Sunday morning and went to work on Monday morning without difficulty. I wasn't fully in my time-zone, tired earlier in the evening, etc, but I was able to do all the things I needed to do..
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Old Mar 8th, 2010, 01:35 PM
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It's just one of those thing you cannot avoid. Jet-lag on eastward long-haul travel (especially travel that covers so many times zones and a date line, as US/Asia/US does) is fairly unavoidable.

I always expect, at the very least, a 2-week sleep pattern disturbance when I come back from Asia...that, and the general feeling of just being a bit 'off.'

Look at it this way: jet lag is a small price to pay for visiting some of the most magical places on the planet.
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