Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Australia & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

just HOW BAD is jetlag coming back to the US from NZ?

just HOW BAD is jetlag coming back to the US from NZ?

Mar 31st, 2006, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 12
The key to avoiding jetlag, in my opinion and experience, is to pay attention to the ARRIVAL time of your flight at the destination, and act accordingly on the flight. For example, when flying East from the US to Europe, I'd depart at 9PM (which is 3AM in Europe/Germany...so, I'd go to sleep as soon as possible, even before take-off (eyeshades and earplugs/headphones help)...skip the whole dinner and drinks thing, unless a drink will help get to sleep..... Get in 6 hours+ sleep...don't "worry" about "enjoying" the Flight, the movie and 17 channels of radio entertainment and the In_flight magazines etc...just Sleep...it's just a place to sleep! On arrival in Europe at 11 AM or so, you are perfectly functional. Stay active until 9 PM or so, which is no big deal(in my case i always went directly from the airprot to work, worked teh afternoon until normal quittingtime at 6PM or so, then head home, normal dinner...hit the sack. Wake up the next morning and be perfectly in synch and back to normal.

Heading West, it would be entirely different approach. Departing from Europe,usually on a mid-day flight from Frankfurt, say at roughly 1PM(7AM at destination), I'd Not sleep on the Flight at all. Eat, drink(in moderation, and lots of water,of course) and be merry....chat with folks, read, etc... Arrive on East Coast at 3 or 4PM; stay active, by 9 PM your body says its time to sleep(3AM back home..you've had a big night, that's all)..hit the sack, get 9 hours sleep, wake at 6AM or 7AM, head off to work or whatever. You are totally in synch once again.

Now for longer hauls, generally do the same. Start with your Arrival Time at destination..If you are going to arrive at dinner time, be sure that you will be prepared(Need) to go to bed about 3-4 hours after arrival. If you are going to arrive early morning, get a good period of 6-7+ hours sleep immediately preceding arrival.

Going to Beijing, departing San Francisco at mid-day, say 1PM(5AM in Beijing) with an arrival time in Beijing of 5PM, I'll want to be alert on arrival, but ready to hit the sack at 9-10PM or so....your body would normally think that is 4AM,and that would have been TOO big a night of partying....so, during the 12 hour flight, I'd take just a 3 hour "Siesta" during the second half (equivalent of a nap in Beijing from Noon-3PM)

I've not been to Australia or NZ, but will be going this coming August. I plan to follow this technique to beat Jet-Lag, always backing the plan from the Arrival time to modify my in-flight activities accordingly.

Maybe I am preaching to the choir on this, but that's the way I, personally, Beat Jet-Lag. Ohh...it helps a LOT if you are flying business class and there are no crying babies, or teenage tour groups, or Flight Attendants disturbing you to eat meals you don't want, turning cabin lights on and off when THEY want to do so...
WileyCoyote is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Wiley, you are so lucky. I do the same as you do, but my body certainly is not in synch just like that. I always adjust to the new time and schedule in my mind and actions, but it still takes my body a few days to get with it.
I'm not sure anything can really help that except time.
kodi is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,291
I remember flying back from Australia, arriving at LAX, getting a rental car and driving down the 405 during rush hour with bumper to bumper traffic. It was a piece of cake--everyone was driving on the right.
wally34949 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 25
My husband and I frequently fly to the Pacific Rim (including Australia and New Zealand). We usually break up our trip by spending a night in LA or in San Francisco

We have 3 suggestions: 1)do NOT under any circumstances, be sleep deprived, when you leave your "home port" to travel. If you can, travel by Business Class, or First Class if you can afford the luxury. (British Air has some Business Class seats that recline 180 degrees on some long hauls which means you can sleep all the way across - no matter which way you are going!

2) Talk with your Doc about whether you can use over-the-counter Melatonin - (in my experience sublingual only - the regular oral does not do it! )as a way of getting to sleep at bed time. If you use Melatonin sublingual - please understand that you put it under your tongue and turn the light out at the same moment as any light de-activates Melatonin.

(3) If you are Eastbound, book a flight that will get you to your destination (plus thru customs) right before bed time so where ever you are you can shower, crash, and wake up on local time. Have done this thru multiple time zones!

If you are Westbound, plan to go to bed as close to your "regular" time zone (IE: you normally get up at 7 AM Eastern Time in Washington, DC (which is also 4 AM Pacific Time); plan to get up as early as you can manage and get home as soon as you can!
Note: One extra day to unpack and wash self and clothes in any direction is always smart!(Give yourself all of Monday to be back to work on Tuesday)
Have been there and back - D.
Mahalo2 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 09:16 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,634
we always tke the ambien route; take one and sleep on the plane 6-8hrs. Take one our first 2 nights at either end so we get full nights' sleep .5 on the 3rd night and after that no worries. Seems to work for me going both east and west

AndrewDavid is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Australia & the Pacific
Feb 26th, 2008 11:55 AM
Air Travel
May 2nd, 2006 05:52 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Nov 15th, 2005 05:04 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Jun 29th, 2005 06:07 AM
Oct 29th, 2004 06:42 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:28 AM.