Let's talk jet lag.

Sep 28th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Let's talk jet lag.

It is obvious that no one way to deal with jet lag works for us as a whole. Some can sleep on the flight, some can't. Some take naps on arrival, some don't. My feeling on how crappy you might feel really depends on how much time you have between arrival and the time you want to sleep. From San Francisco we have three choices. One option is to leave noonish arriving Heathrow very early in the morning or one that departs around 4 pm arriving 10:30 in the morning and finally one leaving around 7 pm arriving around 1 pm. After many, many flights I find that the later departing flight works the best. The reason is the fewer hours to stay awake. I find that I can cope until 8 or so, hit the sack and sleep for 10 hours, waking up fresh and with no further jet lag.
rogerdodger is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Sounds logical. We take no caffeine for few days and Ambien on the plane.
RonZ is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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I second the Ambien. It works for my husband, all I need is Tylenol PM or something equivalent. If we get just 3-4 hours sleep on the plane, arrive late afternoon (our preferred flight time), then we are good to go for some touring, dinner, and then to bed.
martyharly is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Good to hear that Ambien works for some people. It absolutely makes no difference to me - it could be a placebo!
travel2live is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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totally agree w/ you rogerdodger. Most of my transatlantic flights are out of SFO and I find the evening departure is the easiest. Besides having a shorter day at the London end - you have a longer day at the California end making it a little easier to sleep on the plane.

But when I'm looking for discount fares - I find them mostly on earlier flights. Probably because the evening flights book up faster.
janisj is online now  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Unless one's taking a day flight (those that depart US in the morning and arrives Europe same evening), I totally agree that it's best to take the latest flight. Nothing worse than a 4:30pm departure and arrive in Europe 7 hours later at dawn. There's no way one can get enough rest, even if flying first class with a horizontal flat bed.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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I have discovered that I have reverse jet lag. Most people have it West to East. I have it East to West. The only way to beat it is to ignore it as best you can (and go to bed early...).
kerouac is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Kerouac, I can relate totally and am dreading my Monday flight to Japan for that very reason.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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I'm like Kerouac too. I'm fine going east, but going west I am wrecked for several days no matter what I do.
amyb is online now  
Sep 28th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Doesn't matter which direction I'm going, but jetlag doesn't affect me much on the outbound. It's coming home that's when I have the problem.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Right on rogerdodger. Good post. Taking the last flight, so as much of my regular sleep time is on the plane, is the best way to minimize jet lag for me. My last trans-Atlantic flight departed Detroit at 20h30 and arrived Amsterdam 09h40 the next morning. My plane diet is a couple of vodkas, pasta, wine, coffee, and cognac. They won't let me smoke my cigar. I had several hours of very good sleep on the plane. I had no perceptible jet lag until the day after arrival, and it was very mild.

My return flight departed AMS at 14h25 and arrived DTW at 17h00 the same day. No jet lag whatsoever.

FWIW, Ambien is a drug indicated for those who suffer insomnia. According to http://www.drugs.com/ambien.html

Ambien may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking Ambien and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Ambien will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have a full 7 to 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking Ambien and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.
Ambien can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. It can increase some of the side effects of Ambien, including drowsiness. Ambien may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Ambien should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

It is dangerous to try and purchase this medication on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. Samples of this medication purchased on the Internet have been found to contain haloperidol (Haldol), a potent antipsychotic drug with dangerous side effects. For more information, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or visit www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.

I wouldn't touch this stuff with a 10 foot pole, unless I was looking forward to a stay in IC or the morgue.

hopscotch is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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I like getting into Europe at 7 or 8 am. I like the whole day, though it is hard to stay up until 9 or so that first night. Otherwise, I guess the thrill of being in Europe is enough to keep me going.

Jet lag going has never been a problem. Coming back is a big time problem, however. It takes at least a week for me to get back to my normal schedule.
sshephard is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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I have always had a problem for several days ; I asked my doctor to prescribe a sleeping pill (instead of buying something over the counter). I take one on the flight and a couple of nights at the destination. Works well!
danon is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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West to East is my problem direction. I have only made one transatlantic flight. We left at 9:30PM in US and arrived in Paris around 10:30 or 11:00AM if I remember correctly. Our final destination was Budapest and arrived at 3PM. We went to bed about 9PM local time the first night. If my daughter hadn't gotten up during the night for the bathroom and woken me, I probably would have handled it more easily. We woke about 1AM and were up for a couple of hours and then slept in a little the next morning. We did take it easy on our schedule for 2 days, slowing down and resting when we felt slightly nauseated, eating some protein and then going again. That helped us...the resting when we needed to and getting fuel in our bodies. I expected to have some difficulty that direction so I had planned that into our schedule--good call on my part and something I'll remember in the future.

I also expected some issues coming home and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had none. We left London to AMS at 7AM and ended up arriving home after numerous connections (cheapest usage of FF miles meant lots of connections) close to midnight. With time conversion, it was close to 25 hours travelling. I went to bed within an hour of getting home and slept a normal night of sleep and felt great the next day--no discernible jet lag to deal with at all. I was very surprised as I expected to need a few days to reacclimate at home. I was pleasantly pleased to find out that isn't the case. I am a teacher and gave myself about 5 days time to recuperate before school started back when I was planning the trip. I didn't need it--now I know I can stay longer in the future! LOL

I did take Ambien on the trip to Europe but normally take it at home for a sleep disorder as well. It wasn't very effective on my trip over as we didn't think about closing the window shades before leaving Detroit. I slept about 3 hours and then the sun popped up and woke me up--that was it for me, although I did nap on the flight between Paris and Budapest. On the way home, I napped on the flight segment between Hartford and Atlanta, which was equivalent to bedtime back in London. I also napped on the very brief flight between Atlanta and Birmingham. Total nap time was only about 2 hours though.

Kellye is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I get major jet lag no matter which way I go. It literaly takes about 5 - 7 days to go away. I once couldn't sleep all night in Paris on our THIRD night there.

Thank goodness I found Ambien CR. I try to take the latest arriving flight (I live in CA, so it's a challenge). Then I take the Ambien when I have about eight hours to sleep (usually about the 2nd or 3rd flight).

I avoid caffeine and alcohol.

I try to walk around outside a lot at my new destination on the first day to try to convince my body to readjust. Then a few nights of Ambien at night are helpful.

To me, sleep deprivation and jet-lag are, hands down, the worst part about travel.
lauraallais is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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We try to get to bed 1 hour earlier each evening for a week (if possible) .
A few years ago we also started taking a homeopathic product called appropriately -"No Jet Lag". It works for us . We drink no alcohol on flights and keep hydrated with
water, jucies .
I would never take any other product than the above mentioned;works well and has no negative side -effects.I used to feel like a zombie from jet-lag going and coming back, especially coming back.
I am not sure if it is available in the U.S as I live in Canada.
merrytimes is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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I tried No Jet Lag on a trip to Italy. It didn't seem to help.
lauraallais is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Hmmm... I'm a little bit nervous about our upcoming flight from ORD to LHR. We leave at 9:30am, arrive 10:30pm.

Problem is, I've been advised to stay awake for the entire flight so we can hit the sack when we get there.

Well, I'm a horrendous flier. I need vallium just to make it from LA- Chicago, and now we're talking my first flight across the Atlantic- in the winter no less! Vallium always puts me to sleep, plus I like glass of wine on top of that.

How screwed up will I be if I sleep on the plane over?


lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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I have NO jet lag going West to East any more. And I don't sleep on the plane, either...ever. And after many years of traveling to Europe, my East to West trips are more bearable now than before. I take no drugs of any kind, so don't want to try out Ambien or anything like that. I just grin and bear it and get over it in a day or two.

If I ever go to Asia, though, and if I go in coach, I think I'll consider drugs.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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If you travel from Australia to Europe you have jet lag both ways. Our stategy: sleep at least for most of the second leg [from Singapore to Bangkok], stay hydrated, have a nap of an hour or two on arrival, and then go out walking, preferably in sunshine.
Suelynne is offline  

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