jet lag

Mar 7th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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jet lag

How does everyone deal with jet lag? Can you sleep at night with the time change?
GLMDesigns is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 09:18 AM
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I travel from the west coast on a nonstop flight leaving at around 8 or 9 PM, and sleep very little. I then arrive in London around 2 PM. I do not sleep for the remainder of the London day, and try to go to sleep around 10 PM or midnight.

I just happened to be reading a very interesting jet lag article:

WillTravel is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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This is a VERY odd, and very interesting article; I can only relate to some small portions of it, but I appreciate your calling it to my attention. I don't know why my Sundays don't seem to include browsing the NYTimes travel section as regularly as it used to.

But back to the question by GLM. I do think that my perspectives on "time zone adjustment" might be different from those of WillTravel; I have never traveled from the West Coast to Europe, and I have only crossed more than eight time zones (and back) once - - plus one overnight flight with minimal time zone change (i.e., Tokyo -> Malaysia -> Melbourne -> Sydney).

If you are "only" crossing 5, 6 or 7 time zones (i.e., east of the Mississippi to west of Russia), I think it helps to try to adjust to Europe time, by getting up at 5 am, on departure day -1 and up at 4 am on departure day, and make up every effort to sleep on the plane; I vaguely subscribe to the "Forsyth method" which includes almost total fasting departure day, until you see the sun rise over Europe on landing day (still drink normal or above normal fluids; you can also eat the plane-served supper, but I wait and eat it at the same time as the "breakfast").

Then go as long and hard on arrival day as you can. Still, I usually crash around 8 pm, and find myself awakening at 4 am (or even earlier) for a day or two; that seems paradoxical - - why should I be awakening at "10 pm body time"?

I have found productrive ways to adapt to this short-lived early awakening... postcard writing (get some of those "obligations" out of the way early on) or pre-dawn walks around certain cities are really cool. The Pantheon will take your breath away at 4 am in the moonlight.

And you are going to get a dozen different answers here, some contradicting things I have said, 100 per cent.

By the way, note that I am not a fan of the term "jet lag". I think it refers to the very real, but less common phenomenon of having trouble adjusting, starting on day 2 through 7, after a flight - - I sometimes have that after the flight back home.

I think that the _normal_ fatigue, grumpiness and circadian disruption in the first 48 hours is ALMOST universal - - and it is not synonymous with jet lag, in my mind. Semantic, pedantic subtlety? Maybe.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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My husband "commutes" from Europe - works 1 month, off 1 month. He has jet lag the first day he's home but tries to stay awake until normal bedtime. Then he takes Ambien to help him sleep for the first couple of nights. After the 2nd day he's ok. You might check with your doctor & get a sample of it to try.

I had also heard of using the supplement melatonin to help jet lag. They are supposedly testing it on pilots that have to fly long hours to help them stay awake without bad effects. When I was in London I asked at a health food place & they said it was banned there. Maybe do a search & see any info on that.
benj is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 10:20 AM
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Jet lag can ruin my vacation completely! I can relate to most of the article. I need one day of recuperation for every hour of jet lag. That's why we prefer destinations with less than 5 hours of time difference (I live in Europe).
MyriamC is online now  
Mar 7th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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In my case, jet lag is not something that has much impact on me with the relatively short duration trips that I take.

o O (On the other hand, I notice that in the midst of a succession of trips, I'm getting up every day at 4 a.m. I don't really feel like doing anything about that for another month because it's just as well....) ;-)
Flyboy is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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I've never had trouble with jet lag flying to Europe. I'm so excited when I arrive in the morning, that it carries me through an active arrival day. Then I am ready to sleep at 9 or 10 pm. I wake up the next morning pretty much on local time.

Not true returning to the USA. But who cares as I'm just going to work.

Also not true flying to Asia with day and night just about exactly flip-flopped. I've tried everything, but nothing helps on Asian trips. I just have to zombie my way through 2 or 3 days.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 01:58 PM
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I agree with Rufus above. Funny that I don't get jet lag arriving in Europe only when I get home and that takes around a couple of days. But from Asia to home, the jet lag lingers longer.
francophile03 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 02:01 PM
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I like the return part. For at least a few days, I naturally wake up at 5 or 6 AM, and go to bed at normal hours without insomnia. I feel like I've been reset on better hours.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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I find myself in total agreement with WillTravel regarding flying 7hours+ to London. We have made several trips to that fair city usually arriving at 7AM. We drag ourselves around the town because our room isn't yet available and finally get checked in looking like a couple of zombies. So last week we took an evening flight from Chicago, arrived at 11AM, got right into our room, rested a bit, went out to see a few places, had a light supper, and retired close to a regular time. Virtually no jet lag this time! In our much younger days, I suppose we could arrive at any hour. But now, the above mentioned regimen worked far better. The airports on either end were also far less crowded=big plus!
Schildc1 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 02:59 PM
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Some posters swear by the product "No Jet Lag", here's the recent thread on it:
yk is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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I am a fan of taking daytime flights to Europe. We leave Toronto at 9 AM and arrive in London just after 9 PM. After getting to the hotel and having a light snack we are ready to sleep. Other than sleeping in a wee bit the next day we are on local time. To my mind it is much more civilized than a sleepless night on a plane. For the return trip don't pick a flight very early in the morning. Made that mistake once.
Gavin is offline  
Mar 7th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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I was interested to hear your comment on taking the evening flight out of Chicago arriving around 11:00 am instead of the more usual 7:00 am. I am certainly considering that option.

I would also like to know if anyone has tried the early morning flight from Chicago that arrives in London around 11:00 pm - pro's and con's.

Thank you.

SandyBrit is offline  
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