Jet Lag-- First day advice

Dec 19th, 2012, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,754
I think you are just going to have to take a wait and see approach if you don't know how each of you is going to react. After several trips and trying much of the above I now know that myself and my kids need to sleep first thing, We get a bite to eat, shower and hit the hay. We wake in the evening and go out for dinner then go right back to bed. We are much more refreshed the next morning.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Sleeping in in the morning is normal for teenagers. On a trip to Europe with my 14-year-old son, it was a real chore to get him up before the end of breakfast.

But when I fly to Europe (from the US west coast), my problem is waking up at 2 or 3 AM wide awake. And then falling asleep early in the evening. Sometimes I take an ambien for the plane flight and half an ambien when I wake up in the middle of the night. The latter has worked particularly well.
Mimar is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,433
A few things that are helpful -
Gradually change your sleeping time at home. On the West Coast this may not be that helpful, but going to bed at 8:00 instead of 11:00 for a few days before the trip may be beneficial.
Take No-Jet-Lag pills. I know this sounds hoakey, but they really do help. They do not help you sleep, but actually help clear up some of the brain fog and disorientation on your first day. This is an herbal product - no drugs.
I take a brief cat nap (under an hour) upon arrival at the hotel to help recharge. This works for me, but my wife feels awful when she does this.
Don't expect to do too much on your first day, and go to bed around 8 or 9 (most Parisians are eating supper then!)
zootsi is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,282
We stay outside and force ourselves to stay awake until a normal bedtime in the new location. In Paris, a boat ride on the Siene is a good way to get introduced to the famous monuments and seating can be inside or outside the boat.The next m orning I'm fine. A daytime flight from the east coast to London eliminates jet lag for me as we arrive at bedtime, and continue our travels the next morning.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Getting off an overnight flight I always feel like hell - plus dirty and icky. So - first to hotel for a shower and change of clothes plus about 30 minutes lying down (I need to stretch my back). then we go for a light lunch and do some walking around, learning the neighborhood and perhaps some light sightseeing - no museums. then we do an early, light dinner - perhaps 7 pm - and take another walk. Try to get to bed around 10 pm so the next am I am reset.

If you go to sleep at 6 pm you will never get your clock to where it should be.

And I would take on the plane whatever you need to get qt lest 3 or 4 hours sleep (eyeshades, ear phones, etc.) I never watch the movie - just have a quick dinner and then sleep.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 516
about 3 days before my trip i went to bed an hour earlier and got up an hour earlier. after the meal only water on the flight and then popped a drowsy pill (NyQuil). Just tried to get cozy and rested my eyes. it made all the difference in the world. ZERO jet lag the first day. ended up going to bed around 11PM UK time
tailsock is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,697
What we do (purely personal choices, but seems to work pretty well)...

1. Try to sleep on the meal (if possible). To be honest, I don't sleep much...just dozing in and out in short spans.

2. On arrival...get out and walk around as much as possible, until you can't do it anymore...with us, it's usually mid-afternoon.

3. A short nap (30 min-1hour).

4. Out for dinner -- early by Parisian standards -- and to bed about 10:00 or so.

I like the analogy to treat it as a normal day that would follow a night without much sleep.

I'm a napper normally (I'm retired), so I usually continue with afternoon naps for the duration.

Having said all this, it's a given that the first day will be tough...but I find myself waking up at 7 or 8 am from that point on.

ssander is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 286
As you can see every person is different. We actually nap as soon as we get there, instead of fighting it. The thing is you have to make sure you get up - we don't have a problem with this - but with teens, it might be a problem. We will typically sleep until noon or 1:00 and then go out and about for the rest of the day, staying up until at least 8:30 or 9:00 pm. One key I think is being outside as the sun goes down, so your body "sees" that and realizes, Ok - this is the time we are on now. So we always make sure we are taking a walk outside at sunset.
illnative is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,144
Water, water, water and stay up until Paris bedtime. I always get a second wind once I get on the streets of Paris. The walking and discovering are usually enough to energize me. I like to scope out a place for the next morning's pain au chocolat.
denisea is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 510
All very helpful information.
oh2doula is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
>>>Take No-Jet-Lag pills<<<

Hoaky? No. Completely useless, yes. Look at a label... it is a homeopathic concoction meaning there is no more that a molecule at most of active ingredient in it. Drink some water... its free and it will help hydrate you at least.

As to the wonderfulness of it being 'herbal' (when in fact it is so dilute it is only filler and sugar) ... poison ivy and deadly nightshade are herbal too!
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,239
Lots of good advice here and the most important is that it is an individual thing. You will not know how you react since it will be the first experience for all. That said, stay away from alcohol on the flight, stay hydrated and get some fresh air when you arrive. BE KIND TO EACH OTHER - symptoms will pass. for example, DW is always irritable the first day or two - that is her physiological reaction. You also may be surprised and be able to sleep on the flight - a sleep mask can help. I once took an ambien on a transatlantic trip. It worked for me and I woke up refreshed, but that was me, I understand others have different reactions.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 670
Flying is pretty drink water on the plane and resist anything with alcohol, tea or coffee. Free wine on the plane is generally awful.. you will have lots of time to try good wine in Paris. If possible eat your dinner before you get onto your flight to Paris. Then use an eye shade, ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones, and try to sleep or rest.. take a cheap blow up travel pillow for you head neck rest .. it will help if people around are also trying to sleep rather than chatter all night long.
as for medicated sleep aides.. there are a lot of reasons to skip these drugs,, but if you can tolerate tylenol and benedryl, try tylenol pm as a sleep aide.

once you arrive .. i always like a fresh cup of coffee and something to eat..a brioche or pastry is fine, and even if im not ready to shower, i like to change the shirt I slept in..
do go out and spend time in the fresh air, see a little of something but not something that will demand a lot of concentration.
do your shopping, have a lunch and maybe if you need it a nap.. sometimes it just helps to lay down for a rest without really sleeping. i too prefer an early dinner and to go to bed by 10pm.

let everyone can settle in and get a good night's sleep. if you dont worry about falling asleep you should be ok.

some people find showering wakes them up, while others find it a pre-sleep relaxer.. if you find it wakes you up take a shower before going out to dinner.
dont worry too much about jet lag..and have a great time
maxima is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
And there is always the chance that you will be like me and not subject to jetlag at all! Hard to tell until you go, though.
jaja is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 535
I am so excited on arrival that I don't need a nap. I go out and do all my chores,shopping for apt, navigo cards, check out cafes in the area ,just stroll and get the feel of the place then I go and wake up my husband!! Coming home isa different story I have jet lag for a week or 2!!
Avalon2 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2012, 05:46 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,984
We traveled to Paris from the east coast when our kids were 14 and 15 years old. The first day was tough to stay awake but we did for the most part.
We were all out and sound asleep however by 6pm. Slept pretty straight through the night and woke up very early the next morning, about 5am.

We are headed to Zurich in May, kids will be 19 and 20 on this trip, and will be taking a train upon arrival (2.5 hour train ride). I am hoping we will all be able to sleep for a little bit on the plane over. It is doubtful for me, but it will make the first day so much easier. I was able to get economy plus seats, hoping the little extra room will be helpful...I just hope we don't all fall asleep on the train and wind up in another country! ha ha, now that would be a story to tell...
girlonthego is offline  
Dec 20th, 2012, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
We're with illnative. We had tried the old - "stay up when you get to Europe" thing and just somehow get through the first day.

But it never worked. The first day was horrible.

So we decided to try to sleep for 2 hours when we got to our room. YAY! - It Works! Usually it occurs at about 11AM. Hubby sets his watch alarm for 2 hours after we lay down on our bed. Sleep comes instantly. When alarm goes off and we wake up we at first feel awful. But in about 15 minutes all is well and we can walk around feeling good for the rest of the day, not much jet lag feeling at all. Then we go to sleep that night at around 10:30.

So glad to have found something that actually works for us.
kenav is offline  
Dec 20th, 2012, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 516
I find that it helps me if I start awaking up earlier and earlier a few days before the flight. Might not overcome your 8 hour time difference but hopefully it will make it easier to sleep on the plane.

Lots of water.

Reset your watch / phone and avoid thinking 'at home it is now x o'clock.' Unhelpful information. A little alcohol on the plane. Dinner but no movie. Try to sleep but don't worry if you can't.

After breakfast on the plane, I will brush teeth, wash face. Not sure it help with jet lag but I feel much better.

I am definitely in the power through the first day camp. Just have a normal day but stay outside as much as possible.
robertino is offline  
Dec 20th, 2012, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,390
Walk, breathe, walk.

Don't plan on seeing anything you'll really want to remember the first day. Just get your bearings.

Eat a lot of fruit and salads.

Put a nice mediation on your ipod for the plane, it helps a lot.

Lots of water. No soda, no excess sugar- it uses energy without giving anything back.
LSky is offline  
Dec 20th, 2012, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,710
Other than those suggested so far :

Do not drink alcohol

As soon as you board the plane reset your watch to your destination local time

Try to adjust your eating patterns a couple of days before to match your new time.

I have always found west to east iis easier than east to west. The UK to Vancouver involves a 10 hour flight, you land 90 minutes after you take off. The flights generally leave at 10am which means the first day is just ridiculously long, I just can't cope with it.

Get all your travel plans and documentation organised, it can be difficult at the best of times but with sleep deprivation and jet lag it can be hard work.

Staying up as late as possible on the first day is a really good idea but you may find whatever you do the effects are unavoidable.

I hate to say this but the fall out of my first trams Atlantic were horrific, it took a week to cope. After many trips, now I hardly suffer and usually am ready for a 100 plus mile drive on landing.
Dickie_Gr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:34 AM.