Recommendations for jet lag?

Old Jun 11th, 2003, 10:45 AM
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Recommendations for jet lag?

I will be traveling with two kids (10 & 16) next week to Europe and we leave the Washington D.C. area around 4:30 and arrive in Germany around 6:30 (or 12:30 EST)and then on to Venice by 9:30 (3:30 EST). My question is should I try to get us all to sleep soon after we get on the plane (perhaps by keeping them up late and getting up early the night before) so we can hit Venice running or should I try to get them to sleep as much as they can before the trip and take a nap when we arrive. Has anyone tried "NO JET-LAG" and if so what does it do? keep you up?
thanks!
Pam
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 12:05 PM
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I deal with Jet Lag by being well rested before the flight, and if you are able to sleep on the flight do it. When you arive in Europe try not to sleep, get some caffine, maybe take a brief nap if you have to, but on the first day try to get on European time by not going to sleep until night. When its night in Europe its still day in America so I for one have trouble going to sleep there. I use Tylenol PM to help me fall asleep at night.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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I always stay up until at least 10pm on my first night in Europe. I have been with too many people who thought a nap was a great idea the first day, only to see them be zombies for the next week. If you take a nap, chances are when you go to sleep at night you will wake up in the middle of the night. Even with my method, I tend to wake up early (about 6am) the first morning. It gets progressively easier to sleep in a little bit each day. I definitely recommend No Nap.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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We just got back from Greece to DC a few days ago and I must say hit the ground running....don't nap! Try to get some sleep on the plane (although we weren't able to much) and then get on their time. You'll be tired but you'll feel almost fine the following day. Just goto bed early that first night.

I was dieing for a nap but my husband talked me out of it ...we showered up (it'll help) and got some ice coffees and kept trecking.

On the way back we got in at about 10pm and went to bed. Felt pretty good the next day. the hardest thing for me was eating schedule....I wasn't hungry at typical meal times for awhile and still aren't now.

Have a great trip!
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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I guess everyone is different. I cannot sleep on planes. Travelling from the East Coast, we generally arrive wherever in Europe between 8 and 9:30 AM. We try to keep going until 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon, then take about a 3 hour nap, go to dinner, and get to bed reasonably early, say 10 - 11 PM at the latest. We're usually fine for the rest of our trip, though for me personally, the adrenaline of being in Europe keeps me going full-steam on 6 hours of sleep a night.
After we get home, it takes a few days to catch-up, but who cares.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 12:38 PM
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I found an article on Slow Travelers. Try this: http://www.slowtrav.com/faq/jetlag.htm I have not yet read it so I hope t is good.
I don't like to keep the kids (or us) up the night before.If they still don't sleep they have 2 nights to make up for. My children 13 & 15 don't sleep well on planes, but catch frequent naps and sleep sounder once we are there. I think it is worse on us adults. We all walked around the first day for a couple of hours (we couldn't get in the hotel that early) then the kids had to take a nap. A few hours later they were great and we went to bed early, at 10 that night, after they were fine. Good luck!
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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OK, for my trip to Ireland from Seattle, I tried waking up progressively earlier and earlier until I was actually "on" Irish time. Thus, when my flight left Seattle, I was ready for bed. But that all flew out the window because I couldn't sleep well on the plane AND I had too many plane changes to have a continuous nap. I arrived totally beaten (and worse, my boyfriend was experiencing horrible stomach pain...) NOT recommened! This year, we're just going to get a good night's sleep before we leave, eat lightly, and stay up till at least 10 pm when we finally get there. No napping -- that has to be the only universal rule to this beating jet lag game.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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I take the drug-induced sleep route the first night or two in Europe, after flying and not sleeping from the West Coast.
I do not take a nap, I have tried that and it makes me feel like a truck ran over me.
I stay up until about 10pm, take a little Xanax and go to sleep, after the 2nd night, I am fine. this has worked for me for years.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 02:05 PM
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The "no nap" rule is overrated. My wife and I always take a 3-4 hour nap during our first day in Europe, and we are surprisingly well adjusted by our first evening. If someone doesn't have the self discipline to get up after a few hours, a "nap" may not be such a good idea because an extended period of sleep can skew your sleep cycle even further. On the other hand, I have known people that have successfully resisted the urge to nap on the first day, and yet still had serious jet lag for nearly a week. Everyone is different, and there is no universal solution to this problem.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 02:51 PM
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I'm one of the nappers, and found that Larry M's solution works well. Walk around a little when you first arrive, then have a short nap in the afternoon. I use melatonin to get myself to sleep on the first night, and on the plane if I'm not sleepy.

It won't do you much good on this trip, but one thing to keep in mind for the next one (once you see how the kids cope) is that, since everyone handles jet lag differently, you might be able to allow your kids to use the method that works best for them (provided you can supervise them). For example, if one child needs to sleep on arrival, let him or her, and if one can/can't sleep on the plane, don't force the issue. (of course, that assumes that there's an adult to supervise the sleeper and the non-sleeper (in Germany).
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 03:44 PM
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Upon arrival in Europe from the US, my husband and I always use the "don't nap/sleep until 10 pm that evening" method. Works great for us.

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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 04:39 PM
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I vote for the staying-up-on-the-first-day route, although I did succumb to a one-hour nap in the late afternoon, which really helped. But this time my husband is coming and his sleep habits are completely different from mine, so we're going to have to play that first day by ear.

I've also learned not to book flights that involve plane changes at 2 a.m. EST. On our coming trip to Italy, we're changing planes twice in North America to get on a non-stop flight from North America to Rome.
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Old Jun 11th, 2003, 05:35 PM
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Try the book "Overcoming Jetlag". I swear by it. It never fails. I am always adapted in one or two days. Can't beat that!!! Have been using it for many many years.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 07:00 AM
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I just reset my watch to the local time as soon as I get on the plane and tell my body that it doesn't have to compensate at all from then on. Of course, I end up taking a nap the first afternnon but I do that ever day at home too.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 07:12 AM
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1. sleep on the plane.

2. don't nap when you get there. sleep when its time to go to bed. if you nap on day one your body will want it on day 2.

3. use a sleeping aid (i take one excedrin PM) the first few nights.

4. get as much bright daytime sun as possible on your first days. this helps the melatonin.

5. lots of coffee in the morning. (ok i also took a wake me upper pill).

6. energize yourself at 3pm when you start to lag.

7. eat light lunches for a few days.

8. make yourself wake up early.

9. careful of alcohol, except at night.

10. have fun
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 08:42 AM
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Don't worry about trying to adjust the kids before you leave. At that age adrenalin will keep them awake no matter what you do. They'll probably catch an hour or two nap before you reach Germany. They'll crash about 10:00 pm (local time) in Venice, wake up early and never feel the effects. Before you decide your strategy, decide whether short naps are power naps for you and give you energy, or whether they disrupt your sleep schedule. Either way, don't go to bed before 10:00 pm.
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Old Jun 13th, 2003, 04:55 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I guess we'll hit the ground running (but not too fast) and NOT take a nap.
thanks again
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