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Can you stay up all day after an overnight flight to Europe?

Can you stay up all day after an overnight flight to Europe?

Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:18 AM
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I fly overseas once a week and do not sleep on the airplane. The flight usually arrives overseas around 930am and by the time I arrive at the hotel it is about 11am.I usually have to wait for about an hour for my room so I hit the gourmet grocery store near the hotel for some snacks(ham and brie on a baguette,etc.) and then head back to my room. I always take a shower before hitting the bed for a 2-3 hour nap.I make myself get up no matter how tired I feel after that. I go out then to shop,sightsee and eat dinner. I usually can stay awake till almost midnight with that "nap" in the afternoon. The next morning I am up by 630am to get ready for the return flight home feeling relatively decent. Its the day after I get home that I am "dead". Just make sure that you do not drink liquor on the flight and limit the coffee intact.
I would highly recommend taking your own bottle of water(preferably a liter size) on the flight and make sure that you drink the whole bottle before landing-dehydration makes you feel worst.As someone else previously suggested-get out in the fresh air/sunshine to regroup your internal clock.My own opinion is that you should never get into the"sick tired" state that you mentioned as you make bad choices. I am NOT a nap person but that 2-3 hour nap(forced if need be?) is essential.Isn't traveling "over the pond" fun?
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:24 AM
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I recall reading the "no naps" rule in various travel books, but it sure seems like this is one rule that can easily be broken. I think the key is to make sure your nap is just that, a nap, and not so many hours of sleep that you end up unable to sleep that night.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:25 AM
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Dutyfree...I think I missed something. You fly overseas for one night and come right back? And you do this once a week? Why?
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:45 AM
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The most important thing I've learned by reading these threads is that everyone is different. For myself, I can't sleep much if at all on the plane and almost certainly need to sleep when I get to my hotel or some time shortly afterward. This works well for me, though, because I am able to stay awake until late at night when the Europeans are out eating dinner and enjoying the nightlife.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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The only thing that works for me for the first week is Sominex! I can't stay awake the whole first day--I just get hallucinatory, but I do go out and about (usually forced to because room not ready) and take about an hour's nap in early afternoon. Then at night I take a Sominex, otherwise I wake at 1:30, starving, I might add. And if I get overconfident later in the week and just take half a Sominex or worse skip it, I'm up at 1:30.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 08:47 AM
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I live in Europe but travel to the US about twice a year and still get moderate to extreme jet lag flying back to Europe.

How do I minimize it?

a) choose a flight that leaves as late as possible from the US. This way I'm more tired getting on the plane and I arrive later in the day, so less time dragging myself around like a zombie.

b) I have a few glasses of wine with my meal

c) I try my very best to fly biz class - BIG difference.

d) I take off my shoes and wear earplugs (can't stand the masks though)

d) Even when I've made it through the first day, I still have to force myself to get up the next morning, or else...

Hope this helps,
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 08:59 AM
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I recently got back from being in France for 3 weeks, and actually have worse jet lag on return than I did going. This was the first time I had almost no effects at all.

However, I do what Andre suggests -- I prefer to take a very late plane so that I don't arrive until about 11 am. I hate those flights where you get there at 6-7 am, and I think that makes a big difference. I also cannot hardly sleep on planes at all, I just doze a few hours, if I'm lucky. I don't believe in drugged sleep as an alternative, myself. The reason I can't sleep is the position, not because I'm not tired. It is impossible for me to sleep sitting up, even if reclined as much as you can. So, if I go on a later flight (10-11 pm from US East Coast), I am more tired and can get some real sleep and there is not as much time to stay up upon arrival.

I've had to take naps upon arrival or I would have been dead when I used to do the 6-7 am arrival thing. I just take them early, and then they shouldn't upset your sleep that much. I take one for a couple hours as soon as I can check in to the hotel, late morning or early afternoon -- then stay up very late that night afterwards. When I did that, I would be off schedule a little bit but it wasn't that terrible. After all, if I'm really tired, I may take a nap at home in late afternoon on weekends sometimes, and still go to sleep late.

I think it makes a lot more sense to take a nap upon arrival and stay up late than to go to sleep at 7 pm.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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I feel your pain! I've been traveling internationally for years and I'm convinced the only cure for jet lag is time. I can seldom sleep on a flight, even in business class when I'm very comfortable. On the rare occasion that I do catch a few hours sleep, it doesn't seem to make a significant difference.

Despite what all the "experts" say, I listen to my body. If I'm tired, I sleep. If I'm wide awake in the wee hours, I get up and do something, then sleep when I'm tired.

I've tried sleep aid, avoiding alcohol, forcing myself to stay awake, you name it. Nothing seems to work, but time.

Jet lag is different for everyone - I suggest you listen to your body and do what's right for you. A short nap when you're dead tired is going to enhance, not hinder your trip. How much fun is it to sleep walk through your holiday?

In all my years of travel I have learned one very important lesson - dress comfortably for the flight. Wear loose clothing, remove your shoes, perhaps listen to some soothing music - all these things can help relax you and make that long journey a bit more comfortable.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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I try to adjust my time at home by getting up earlier, and I use the jet lag diet (Argonne Labs) suggested on the internet and use the neck cushion, shade, earplugs, and comfortable clothes. Usually the day we arrive we stay up all day and get to bed around 8 p.m. their time. Occasionally we take an afternoon nap not to exceed 1 hour--it's just enough.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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I have taken hundreds of flights and NEVER, not once, fell asleep on the plane (not even on the 24-hour journey to Thailand...or the journey back). I am a stomach sleeper and cannot sleep sitting up or on my back.

When I go to Europe, I try to get there as EARLY as possible...so that when I arrive it just feels like I had a very late night out, not like I actually stayed up all night. Luckily I have been able to check in at the hotel at 7AM every time I needed to. I sleep for maybe 3-4 hours, then go out to lunch and explore the town. Then I have an afternoon nap (2 hours) and go to dinner and hit the bars. By the next morning I and my travel companions are right back on schedule and feeling good.

The only time I had any trouble was because my flight was delayed going into Vienna, and we arrived in the afternoon. I was too wired to nap (trying to stay alert when I was over-tired) and also the curtains didn't close all the way, so the room wasn't dark enough (I learned my lesson and always bring eye shades now). Not only could I not nap that afternoon, I couldn't sleep one wink for the next five nights. It was a miserable start to a 10-day vacation.

So I suggest...if you can't sleep on planes, get there EARLY in the morning.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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People who can't sleep on planes - can't (there's no trick about it).

After arrival I give in and take a nap whenever I need one. Actually I usually do this the first 5 days or so of my trip. I get that 'sick' feeling you described and it is awful. Some people simply suffer jetlag more than others.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:59 AM
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I also wondered what kind of job dutyfree has.

dutyfree, what % of passengers on the Europe bound leg are unable to fall asleep? I can not and I am very curious about this question.

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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:59 AM
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The only way I can sleep on a plane is if I make myself stay up all night the night before.
I usually need a nap after a long flight.
Flights to Europe from the West Coast are so much more grueling than from the East Coast. I don't know anyone who flies from the West Coast who doesn't need to collapse for a long nap or very early bedtime that first day in Europe.
When I flew back to Germany from Chicago in December, I went to bed about two hours after getting home and slept for 12 hours solid (I flew business class but still couldn't sleep that well)
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 11:48 AM
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I wonder about all of you lightweights on the EC and thereabouts. We fly from the West Coast and that is some long flight. Sometimes we stop at JFK on the way to Europe and the flight from there on out is nothing, like us flying to Hawaii (timewise).

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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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First off, one can certainly ?rest? without sleeping. I cannot sleep on an airplane, drugged or otherwise, but I can rest via a sort of self-hypnosis.

When I arrive I go out. If I feel fine I go about my business. If I?m really tired I find an out of the way pub and go in for a pint. I try to strike up a conversation with the bar help or the locals, have another pint, maybe enjoy a cigar and another pint. It they have food I will order so something small with a pint. After dinner I will enjoy a pint. If the company is good I may have another pint or two. If there is a local holiday I will celebrate with a pint. If the weather is fair I will salute it with a pint, if it is foul I will commiserate with a pint. I then wish all and sundry a hearty farewell and have a nightcap. Then I hail a cab to my hotel and sleep like the innocent.

Simple, really. No trick to it.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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Absolutely, that is the only way to go! All the travel magazines and articles that I have read all encourage travelers to immediately jump into the regular time frame upon arrival for the best adjustment to the time difference. After leaving on a 7:30 am flight and not arriving until nearly the next afternoon, I stay up until about 9 or 10 pm that night then after a good night's sleep, I am ready to go the next day. I have never experienced jet lag this way.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Two times last year I went to Europe (Poland) from New York. Both days I got up at 5AM (went to work early) had flights at 9 or 10 PM, did not sleep. Arrived, took bath, stayed up til 11PM their time. About 36 hours straight, I was shot when I went to bed be got up 8 hours later feeling fine. It seemed to reset my clock right away, had no jet lag.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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I know this method is probably not new.

I always fly out of the states to london or paris in the early evening eastern time zone, around 6 or 7pm. A couple of days before I start going to bed very early about 8pm or 9pm and getting up very early around 4 or 5am.

This helps me to sleep during the flight over. I will say, though, I am one of those people that can cat nap at the drop of a hat. But when trying to reset time, that does not really help.

With this said, I have never really been able to get thru the 1st day, all day and night. I usually have to crash for an hour or two, early afternoon. I don't sleep long, just a short nap, and then I usually stay going the rest of the day and evening. Even with the nap, I usually have no problem sleeping all night.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:24 PM
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I tried it after a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam during which I did not sleep, and nearly passed out in my Thai shrimp that evening at dinner.
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