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jet lag

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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #1
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jet lag

Any advice on how to handle jet lag? I will be taking a night flight from Chicago to Paris and arriving about 9:00 am(3:00 my time). How should I handle that first day..sleepwise?
Also, I will be in Paris for 5 days. What are the must-sees??
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Everybody reacts differently to jetlag. My system is to stay up all day the first day (if I take a nap I'm toast for several days), stay outside, move around, eat lightly, drink lots of water, have as early a dinner as one can have in Paris, and get to bed by 10 pm. Next day I'm fine. YMMV.

There are no must-sees anywhere in the world. It's up to you to decide what's important to you. Read guidebooks and scour the internet, be sure you have a good map and understand the public transport system, and put together a plan that suits YOU. What I might want to do is totally irrelevant.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Unfortunately the same method does not work for all people. Some suggest you stay up all day, activity in the sunlight, and go to bed around 8 to 10 pm. Tried that for years with min success. We find that nap in the middle of the pm some wonders for us. On arrival we stay active in the sunlight till 2/3 pm and take a nap till 4/5 pm. That seems to refresh us, and we can go till about 10 or so that evening. We set the alarm for a max of 2 hours but generally we wake up naturally after an hour and half or so.

Second, we go to the airport early and have a nice dinner prior to boarding. After 30 minutes after take off we settle in with ear plugs (head phones) eye shades, and ignore all activity on the plane - skips the food service - not worth it. We do participate in the breakfast in the hour prior to landing. Helps to set our routine.

All must sees in Paris are well cover by an good guide book. Only you can decide which must sees are must sees for you.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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Sometimes I wonder if jet lag is really the problem that many claim. Some do experience it (and strongly) but the fact that you are in Gay Paree should help out. . Don't overdo your first day but don't let it spoil the awe and wonder of the event. Stay hydrated and enjoy the day. I never try to go to sleep on arrival as it will really throw you off. Now, coming home is a completely different story for me..UGH takes days.. but again I wonder if it is not the shock of being "not in Gay Paree" (or elsewhere)!! We usually take the hop on hop off to get the lay of the land and that includes the batobus.Relaxing,comfortable and a nice overview. Must sees?? Whatever your interests are..Louvre (selected irems not the whole place), D'Orsay, Notre Dame but avoid 1st day visits as the lines,if present, will increase any fatigue you may experience. Check out a couple of web sites to pin down interests..You Tube will be of help also..Make notes or print off interests and go have a great time.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:33 AM
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Thx so much for your advice....just what I needed!! I am having fun scouring the guidebooks and know it's going to be a great trip!
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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I have no success with fighting jetlag, but my husband who travels all the time on business never seems to have jetlag when we vacation. Here is his method for when we fly from NY to Paris (or anywhere where it will be morning when we land): lunch at around 12 and depart for the airport and arrive at around 3 for a 6 pm flight, at around 4:30 he eats a light snack if he thinks that he will hungry on the plane; as soon as possible after the safety announcements he drinks a glass of red wine, puts on noise reducing headphones, closes his eyes and basically wills himself to sleep. He has coffee an hour before landing and when we arrive in Paris, he is somehow on French time. At around 9 PM that first night he goes to bed and voila no jetlag for him. I have no luck with his method because I can't fall asleep on the plane so I take a long nap shortly after landing and then I can't sleep that night and end up taking about 3 days to adjust. I assume that you have not been to Paris before and your must sees might be different than mine, but I suggest Notre Dame, the Louvre, Musee L'Orangerie, Eiffel Tower, Galleries Lafayette, Sacre Coeur, walks through the Latin Quarter, the 7th district and Montmartre. One thing that you could do is a Seine cruise so you see a ton of sites but at a distance or you can take 69 Bus from near the Eiffel Tower to the Pere Lachaise cemetery and you will pass a number of sights although you will have no tour guide.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Most people have jetlag on West-to-East flights (US to Europe, for example). I am the opposite for some reason, but the main thing to know is that it is important to try to be out and about during daylight as much as possible. If it is impossible not to take a nap, it should last more than one or two hours at the most.

On the first night, you should try to stay up as late as possible -- at least until 9 p.m. If you go to bed sooner, you have every chance of waking up around 3 a.m. and being incapable of going back to sleep.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:29 PM
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Oh, and another thing to do is to reset your watch (or any other timekeeping device) to local time at your destination as soon as you are sitting in the plane. If you have anything that keeps referring you to what time it is "back home" it will screw you up.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:46 PM
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These are all good suggestions. What they do is ameliorate the effects of travel through time zones somewhat, making it possible for you to function on some level and enjoy your trip. Some work for some, others work for others. But please realize, there is no way you can completely fool your body into believing that you haven't crossed all those time zones. As a general rule, your body systems (digestion, elimination, alertness, sleepiness, etc) require about one day for every hour of time change in order to adjust and synch with your new time schedule. Keeping busy, getting as much exposure to daylight as you can, staying well hydrated, etc, all help. But if you are crossing 7 time zones and spending 5 days in Paris...
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:50 PM
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Obviously there was a "not" missing from my post above. Any nap should NOT last more than one or two hours.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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StCirq - Your method works best for me and also my wife.

Lots of sunshine the first day. For Paris, it's always the Luxembourg Gardens.

The second trip to Europe with my wife, she decided to stay up during the flight and watch movies. She took a nap the afternoon we arrived, and was total toast, including tossing her cookies at a restaurant we had dinner at.
I had a Solomio in Seville and a bottle of wine in approximately 5 minutes, so she could go back to bed. Took her 3 days to orient.

The worst is flying from the left coast to Europe and going straight in to a day's worth of business meetings. For business, I always gave myself an extra day or 2 to acclimate.

Watch is always set ahead, immediately after boarding the plane.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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LOL, rasta...I've never tossed my cookies and hope never to (though I did have one kid who never once boarded a plane for Europe that she didn't plan to vomit all over...and I have terrible gag reflex and just couldn't be the one to clean up after her)!

It can easily take me 3 days to re-orient coming back from Europe, but I've got going over down pat, even though I hardly ever sleep even a little bit on the plane.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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May I add a follow-up question to this thread?

Has anyone found that landing in the morning (9 to 12ish) in Europe coming from US is easier/harder in regards to jetlag than landing in the afternoon (2-4ish)? Looking at flights now and wondering if there is a better time frame than another . . .
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Mar 17th, 2013, 03:34 PM
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I am so confused about all this... I am flying from NYC at 9:15 pm to Paris and arrive at 1:50 pm... if we are 5 hours apart, then what is the appropriate time to go to sleep next day when I am in Paris?
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Mar 17th, 2013, 03:51 PM
  #15
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>what is the appropriate time to go to sleep next day when I am in Paris?

Obviously when it's evening in Paris - maybe 9 or 10 p.m. local time. What else should it be?
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Mar 17th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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hi gogogriff:

IMO the big advantage of landing later in the day is that you can check into your hotel room. It is always a drag to be jet lagged and having to kill 4-5 hours before you can get rid of luggage, shower etc.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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jpie: that's true--I think we can store our luggage at our hotel, but we wouldn't be able to take a break for awhile.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 06:13 PM
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For most flight crews,we prefer landing in the early morning before 11am to feel better and adjust to the jet lag. Most crews land with another hour or two to our hotel in the city where we usually take a shower and then lay down for 1-3 hours. As soon as we get up, we get outside for the sunshine to reintroduce our body clocks,have a coffee or coke to wake up and then seize the city! It really does work as I do it every week!
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Mar 17th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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tica, it's 6 hours' difference, and you go to bed in Paris when it's night-time in Paris; otherwise you'll be off-kilter the entire time there.

I hate those late afternoon/evening flights. I'd MUCH rather land in Paris early Paris time and just get going and on with it.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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I do the same as dutyfree. Land in the morning, check-in to my hotel, eat lunch and then nap for three hours or so. I get up and shower, and then eat dinner (7:00 or 8:00) and go to bed at 11:00 or so. I'm then sync'ed for the rest of the trip. If I could sleep on the plane I might do something else, but I find it impossible to get more than a couple of hours in economy.
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