Best plan to beat jet-lag

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Jul 15th, 2007, 06:36 PM
  #1
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Best plan to beat jet-lag

Hello,

Where I live, Ireland is 7 hours later in the day than Montana. I will be arriving at 7:45 am which will be 2:25 pm in Montana. Hopefully I will have slept on plane...but any suggestions on best way to quickly adjust?

Thanks in advance.

Peace.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 07:25 PM
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1) don't even think about "montana time" after you board the plane

2) drink lots of water, skip the caffeine and only have one or at most 2 glasses of wine on board. The more alcohol and/or caffeine the worse the jet lag

3) Get as much sleep as you can - but if you can't sleep do move around the cabin now and then.

4) here comes the big difference between fodorites:

a) stay up until at least 9:30 or 10 p.m. Ireland time. Stay active but don't over do it. Stay out of doors and eat a nice dinner. This is how I handle it.

but b) Some people like to take a short nap before hitting the streets, dinner etc. The operative word is "short" nap -- if you fall into a deep sleep it likely will take several days to get acclimated.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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7:45 am in Ireland is 12:45am in Montana.

You won't get enough sleep on the red-eye flight over. Just don't plan too much for the day of arrival, but also don't sleep all day. You'll be fine the next day.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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My DH spent his whole career in international marketing. He NEVER had jetlag, and his secret was to get onto local time the minute he landed.

I, on the other hand, get jetlag when I travel a few hours by car gt;
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Jul 15th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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JanisJ is dead on with her advice.

Disregard all thoughts of what time it is at home.

Get on local time - fight through the first day by doing things - (limit any driving for obvious reasons) and try to do those things outdoors in the sun - it will help to reset your internal clock.

You may have a crappy fits night sleep and wake up early unable to get back to sleep. Rest and relax - the body gets 70% of the regeneration it needs if you just lie still and relax.

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Jul 15th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Great advice, thank you and yes I was backwards on my time. Thanks!

Peace
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Jul 15th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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rkkwan is right. You won't sleep much on the flight.

I would suggest that on arrival try to stay awake until at least late morning and go ahead and have a nap but for no more than 3 hours - just to recap the lost sleep. Get up, refresh yourself, and go for early dinner.

Then stay awake again until about 9 - 10 pm Irish time. You'll sleep like a log for sure and will feel fine the next day!

We travel red-eye all the time across the Atlantic to UK and Europe and the above works well for us.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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Another help sunnyside, at least for me, is to set your time for Irish time right after you board your plane.

With arriving so early in the morning a nap after lunch for a few hours would probably be a good idea. I always arrive in Italy late afternoon so I don't go to bed until nighttime.

Getting out in the fresh air and walking is good to do after being on the long flight. I find I eat light when I first arrive, no heavy meats etc.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Sunnyside,

I'm one who likes to nap a couple of hours then I keep going and go to bed around 10pm. Just do what you feel like doing, just don't nap too long.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 01:43 AM
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Twice, once in Miltown Malbay another in Ennis, B&B Operators allowed us to check-in at 9:30-10:00AM and we took a 2-hr nap. By noon or thereabouts we were ready to 'hit the ground running'

janisj has some good advice: if I'm solo, I use my arrival day to get to my final destination. I don't drive; I use BusEireann.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 02:14 AM
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I think we're all different. If I try to nap for a couple of hours after arrival, I'm shot for the day. I'd rather keep going until I'm ready to drop that first day (I always seem to have some renewed energy when I arrive in Europe), retire early that evening and I'm raring to go the next day and onwards.

But the best advice is to set your watch to European time when you GET ON the plane and never look back. Thinking about what time it is back home is a very bad idea. It's much easier to fall asleep on a plane if you've convinced yourself it's midnight and not 5 PM.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 03:09 AM
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I usually manage jetlag quite well, and tend to do as Janisj recommends, i.e. not napping but carrying on all day until around 9 or 10pm, then getting a good night's sleep.

However, this time around, on returning from a trip to the US (we live in Belgium) I caved in and had a nap during the day when we got home after the overnight flight.
Big mistake!! It took me MUCH longer than usual to get over the jetlag, as by napping I just wasn't tired enough in the evening to get a good night's sleep.

If I'm going to be flying overnight, I usually try and make sure I am very tired for the flight, as it means I'm more likely to get a good sleep (I find it hard to sleep on planes, otherwise). A glass of wine with the meal helps too. And of course if there's actually a movie during the flight that I want to watch, I'm guaranteed to fall asleep before the end. I only stay awake for awful movies or things I've already seen...
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Jul 16th, 2007, 04:27 AM
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We usually take a good nap the first day and feel fine...it doesn't slow us down at all. The one time we tried to stay awake the entire first day, we were exhausted and cranky. If you feel like you can keep going, do so. If you're really, truly wiped out, then don't force yourself.
The weather may help with your decision. If it's mild and sunny, you will find it a lot easier to stay outdoors and awake. But if it's a dark grey day and pouring down with rain, you may find the temptation to nap much stronger.

Hold off on caffeine til you arrive, then have a coffee after you get settled in. I always feel better the first day after freshening up....washing my face, or taking a SHORT shower, changing clothes.
Eat lightly, don't have a heavy meal.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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I'm with neo. I can take a small (under an hour) nap and be fine, but if its a couple of hours or more I wake up thoroughly exhausted and then have a really hard time falling asleep. If we do feel the urge to take a nap, we set our alarm for an hour and force ourselves to get up when it goes off.

My advice is basically the same as those above. Try to get some sleep on the plane and don't think about Montana time. Try to plan some interesting things to do the first day so that your interested enough to not want to crawl into bed. Have a nice dinner and try to stay awake until at least 8:00 or 9:00. Get a good nights sleep and you should feel find the next day.

I personally use Ambien everytime I fly overseas and swear by it because I get about 5-6 hours of sleep on the plane and can usually stay awake for the first full day without any problems. Everyone is different though; this is just what works for me.

Tracy
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Jul 16th, 2007, 06:18 AM
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hanl, that' so funny and so true about the movies. I could make a list of wonderful movies I've seen the first half of on planes.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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When you get on the plane, set your watch to Ireland time, You will then deide it's time to go to bed.

But, what I do, and I believe in it, is strat adjusting your speel pattern BEFORE you go. So, a week or so bwefore you go, go to bed an hur earlier, get up an hour earlier, next night 2 hrs, and so on, When you get up don't stay in bed, but turn on lights.

You will be tiered when you get on the plane, so you will sleep easier. On plane, no coffee, no alcohol, sleep. When you land (or on plane), have coffee and breakfast. Don't sleep at hotel, you are only letting your body go back to Montana time. Go outside, walk, keep regular hours. After one night's sleep, I find I'm almost normal.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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My advice is to do what feels right for you when you arrive. Many people here are suggesting you stay up the entire day and go to bed early. However, for me, that doesn't work. Both my DH and I need to nap after arriving. As soon as we get to the hotel, we have a shower and go to bed for a few hours, then get up and go out walking and for a bite to eat.

If you're so tired you know you can't function and you can get into your room, then take a nap. If you feel like you can go all day after having a good meal and some good coffee, do that. Just listen to your own body.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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My advice is to do what feels right for you when you arrive. Many people here are suggesting you stay up the entire day and go to bed early. However, for me, that doesn't work. Both my DH and I need to nap after arriving the first day. As soon as we get to the hotel, we have a shower and go to bed for a few hours, then get up and go out walking and for a bite to eat. We have no trouble falling asleep that night and the next day, we are rested and ready to go.

If you're so tired you know you can't function and you can get into your room, then take a nap. If you feel like you can go all day after having a good meal and some good coffee, do that. Just listen to your own body.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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GREAT. thank you. i have a hard time sleeping on planes...so the ambien might not be a bad idea. i guess for me, i have to take the train to galway where my relative is meeting me. then we'll drive to sligo. i will probably be excited enough to not sleep but i'f i'm not driving for first couple hours on train..that will be my biggest challenge, not to fall asleep.

anyway - thank you all and i leave in 5 days!!!!!!!

Peace
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Jul 16th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Put me in the "Michel-Paris" camp! It's more important what I do before leaving than after arriving. Here's a routine I swear by. I rarely suffer jet lag anymore (knock on wood). We usually leave late afternoon or evening, arrive early a.m.

5 days before departure: Drink more water. Begin packing. Start retiring/waking earlier. You don't have to go to bed at 5 o'clock! I end up retiring at 7:30 2 nights before leaving. The last 2 nights I take 1/2 a Unisom with a glass of wine, just as I plan to do on the plane.

2 days before departure: All packing done. If I leave it til the last day I get all stressed (not to mention over-packing). All to-do lists taken care of (shopping, stop mail, copying guide books, etc.). STOP READING FODORS!

Departure day: Up early, maybe 4 am. Light cleaning, household chores as needed. Pack toiletries. Take a long walk. Lots of water, eat lightly. By now I'm totally relaxed.

At airport: We always have at least a 2-hr layover in Atlanta or Cincinnati. (If you fly direct, do this part at home). Before boarding, I find a comfortable restaurant or bar and have a big bowl of hot soup w/ a glass of wine. On the plane: reset watch, eat dinner (nothing salty), one wine, 1/2 a unisom. Now I'm yawning and can't wait to sleep. I have a soft baby blanket and fuzzy socks I bring along. I sleep 6 or 7 hours on the plane.

After arrival I stroll outside, eat lightly, do not nap, and try to stay up til 9pm.

I think the main thing is to remove stress from those final days. If I'm relaxed when I get on the plane, I'm halfway there to a jet-lag-free trip.

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