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Tips on Fighting Jet Lag First Day All Day?

Tips on Fighting Jet Lag First Day All Day?

Old Mar 12th, 2004, 08:55 PM
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Tips on Fighting Jet Lag First Day All Day?

We will be arriving in London at 6:00 a.m. but it will seem like midnight. Needless to say, it's going to be a VERY long day for us. My husband says, Coffee! And lots of it! I worry that the caffeine will just make it worse. We've never traveled internationally so maybe we'll just be so jazzed from the excitement of it all? We welcome helpful hints that help keep the Sandman at bay.
Nancy
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 09:12 PM
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We try to sleep on the plane . . . not an easy project. When we arrive, we check in, unpack and then walk and walk and walk. It keeps the blood circulating, walks off the airplane doldrums and keeps you awake.

We eat very early, around 6:30 or 7 and after a nice long leisurely dinner and another brisk walk back to the hotel, we go to bed very early. We set the alarm for eight the next morning and by then we're pretty well regulated and can lead normal lives.

Don't know if this works for everyone or not, but we avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane trip. Actually try to avoid it at least 24 hours before we leave.

So far it's worked for us.
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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An early arrival can be tough, but there really IS something to be said for 'being so jazzed up from the excitement of it all'. If you're lucky, you can do some napping on the plane. I would certainly grab some coffee, but this is a case of "know thyself". (In view of the early arrival, you are actually entitled to an afternoon nap, but if you can't hold it to no more than about 90 minutes, you might be doing more harm than good...
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 09:22 PM
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Remember to drink only water on your long flight that helps reduce jet lag. Yes you will be tired the first day and excited at the same time. I went to see a show the first night and was falling a sleep during the 2nd Act so do something that will keep you active. I would take a short nap and set your alarm or you will fall asleep and wake up at 2AM.brucec
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 09:30 PM
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Usually for jetlag, I always suggest the person stay up as long as possible before crashing. We're from the US, but live in England, so in our travels over the years I've gotten used to dealing with jetlag this way.

However, you are arriving QUITE early, so in your case I'd suggest you head straight for the hotel, check in (if they will allow you to check in that early - make sure of this before you arrive in London) and catch a couple hours sleep, maximum.

We live in northern England. Most of the shops up here don't open until 9-10 am. Probably, while you're sleeping and having breakfast, you won't be missing a whole heck of a lot that first morning.

After you've slept a couple of hours, make yourself get up, have breakfast, then shower, etc, and head out to explore. For the rest of the day, I would strongly recommend staying up as long as possible without a nap.

Then have an early dinner, say about 6 pm, and go to bed pretty soon afterward. Your head/body will still be on US time (I'm guessing, since you said there will be a 6 hour time difference - I'm from Arkansas, it's 6 hours different, too). But you will be pretty tired by then. That first night, you might find yourself sleeping hard for a while, then waking early, maybe about 2 am....lying awake for a while.....dozing off again...sortof catnapping until morning, England time.

You didn't say how long your trip will be (possibly including other destinations), but in my view, the method I've described will help your body clock adjust more easily.

I know others will have their own suggestions. Just pick the one that will work for you. I hope you have a great trip!!
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 09:34 PM
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I've tried what everyone's said here and it does work. When you arrive just check in and then go explore lightly. Come back to the hotel, have an early dinner, and then go to sleep early. Next day wake up at your usual time.
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Old Mar 12th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Thanks, those are good ideas. Walking and water. Seems reasonable. We LOVE to sleep but sleep hard. Can't nap, never have been able to. Just makes me cranky. Have any of you ever tried the Oxygen Bar? I never have and my husband scoffs, but people have told me that a few whiffs of the pure stuff works wonders and energizes. I would think we could get the same effect by breathing deeply. I would feel silly paying for it and, pfftt, nothing.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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While I don't disagree with the early to bed advice, walking from 7am to 6pm can be a bit tiring. We found that even if you cannot check in at the hotel, they will keep your bags and usually can point you to the nearest Big Bus Tour or Original London Sightseeing Tour. You buy a 24 hour ticket and its a hop on/off route.

Sitting atop the double decker in fresh air getting oriented to the city with their charming live guides is a very exiting way to spend some of your first day in London! (Note: if the top is full, not to worry, just mosey close to the stairway and after a few stops people are likely to vacate seats up top.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 03:08 AM
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LeslieC, I'm sure you meant exciting, not exiting, yes? I'd hate to think of them making their exit from London on the very first day! (giggle)
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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I usually take Tylenol Sleep Easy as they are coming around with drinks the first time. Then I settle down after dinner to sleep about 4 hours. After arriving in the city I usually walk walk walk. The first night I am usually in the hotel by 8-9 and take 2 more Sleep Easy. I have no jet lag. As for coming home I usually stay up and take a few little cat naps. once I get home I take 2 more Sleep Easy and go to bed. I wake up with no jet lag ever. I have been to Europe 5 times and it always works.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 05:21 AM
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Go straight to the hotel and take a nap. You should be pretty tired and have no problem sleeping, unless you've slept on the plane the whole way, skipping all the meals and movies.

Set your alarm clock to wake up in the early afternoon, and then start exploring. Walk around London till late at night... You should be tired again by then, and your jet lag is fixed.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 05:25 AM
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Assuming we get a bit of a nap on the plane over (2 hours maybe traveling with an 8 year old) . . .

We attempt to stay as active as possible until about 2-3 in the afternoon. Start with caffeine and then have a glass of wine with a late lunch.

Most hotels will have your room ready by 3pm. We then take a two hour nap, get up and freshen up, and then attempt to get on the local clock. We do just the opposite of most people listed above. We go out for dinner at normal time 8-8:30 (later in Spain) and then get to bed around 11pm.

This way we get up with everyone else and continue on.

Don't kn ow if it works for everyone but it seems to work for us.

Brian
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 05:25 AM
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Dan and Nan, are you coming from West or East Coast. When we lived in the U.S. and traveled to Europe, I could keep going for most of the day when we flew in from the East Coast. But we couldn't manage to keep our eyes open for the whole day when flying in from the West Coast.
On one November trip to Paris from Portland, OR, by 3 pm the day of arrival we just couldn't stay away another minute. We went back to the hotel, opened the windows a little to listen to the rain coming down and the traffic and passed out for two hours. Woke up still groggy but our energy level then picked enough to stay out until 10 pm.
Just go with your body. If you can keep going until 9 pm or so, great! But there's no sin in crashing in the afternoon if you have to. Brimham Rocks gives good advice, too, if the hotel will let you into your room so early, you will probably appreciate a shower and nap and then you'll still have most of the day ahead of you (even if you sleep til noon).
My brother-in-law, who travels globally for business, once asked his doctor: what's the best way to handle jet lag? The doctor answered, "get some sleep!"
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Most of my tips have already been mentioned. Although I have not tried Tylenol Sleep Easy, I have used regular Tylenol or Aspirin. Both of these seem to have a relaxing effect. I have also heard of people using Benedryl to settle them into sleep.

Some things to also help: I find that being on those long overseas flights dries me out terribly. The water suggestion has already been made. Bring a good sized water bottle with you and drink it. When dressing before going to the airport, I apply a really super-moisterizing lotion or body cream all over my body. I find that this improves my comfort level. I also carry a small container of lotion with me on the plane to reapply to my hands. Without this trick, I find my skin becomes somewhat itchy and quite dried out. I sleep better with non-itchy skin.

Another trick is to start an earlier wake-up time and do the early to bed routine before leaving on an eastern bound overseas trip. If you can trim 2-3 hours off the time difference before you go, you have less of a difference all at once when you arrive. I set my watch as soon as I have boarded the overseas flight and tell myself this is the time. There are a lot of distractions on the overseas flights. I plan to stay awake until having been served the in-flight meal. Then, I skip the movies and any duty free shopping carts and sleep. If I can't sleep right away, I focus on deep relaxation. You will be surprised what 4 hours of sleep will do to keep you going and going.

Oh, and bring some sort of a travel pillow that will support your neck to avoid kinks and add comfort. I have a buckwheat pillow that is terrific.
As far as coffee, soda pop and liquor on the plane... skip it! Drink juices, water or milk. If you absolutely must sleep once you have arrived, try to make it awake by walking, etc until mid afternoon. Then take a two-hour nap. No more! The quicker you adjust to the new time, the better off you will be. The first day I always stay up until 8:00 pm or later. Sleep comes easy that first night and then I'm on the new schedule without a problem.

With experience you will discover what works for you.

- Sharon
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Hi. I am leaving for Paris in just a short while. In my pocket, I have a product called "No Jet-Lag."

I hope it works because the first day is always so hard to go through due to jet lag.

I found "No Jet-Lag" on http://www.magellans.com/ It is about $14.00 (includes shipping) and is good for 50 hours of flying.

The product is made in New Zealand and it is approved by the FDA. There are chewable tablets and you take one on each take off and one every two hours there after. It is safe to take with other medicines. I'll post on here stating if it works or not.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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i agree with most of the other postings. a couple of tylenol pm at drink time. have a couple of drinks and a glass or two of wine with dinner. if you land at 6:am you will not get to your hotel much before 8:00 or 8:30 at the most. set your bags down and go for an orientation walk. be sure to bring your tooth brush on the plane. it helps to be feeling as fresh as you can when you land. there is a lot to do and see in london and you would be suprised how fast you can kill a day. don't drink too much coffee but a stop at a friendly starbucks (i can't help it, i'm from seattle)or other place for a cup of coffee should help. have an early dinner and two more tylenol before bed and you should be great to go the next day. going is not the hard part. coming back is. it always takes me two days to get my legs back. have fun. feel free to email me with any questions.
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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I'm always so excited to be there, I really don't feel the effects so much. It hits me hard coming home, though. Does this happen to anyone else?
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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I do the same thing that all these other folks do - walk, walk, walk, early/mid afternoon SHORT nap, early dinner and asleep by 8 or 9. The next morning I am on local time. But when I come home! I spend a week with my eyes flying open at 3 in the morning and I am face down on my desk at 3 in the afternoon. A small price to pay for a trip to Europe!
Dan and Nan, have a great time!
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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I have no trouble with jet lag going, even though I barely sleep. We get to the hotel, and if we can check in, we shower and hit the ground running! When we go to Ireland, we usually drive for a couple of hours to our destination, and depending on the B&B, we may or may not be able to check in. We NEVER nap. We're usually ready for bed around 8 or so, then wake up the next morning refreshed. When we come home, it takes me several days to recover. Coming home from Paris last month, our plane landed at 6:30pm Boston time, or 12:30am Paris time. We still had to pick up a rental car and drive 3 hours. That was a tough one! I always have to take the next day off from work and still feel sort of dull and groggy for a couple more days!
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 09:02 AM
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I try not to sleep when I get to the destination so I can begin to adjust my internal clock even though I can never sleep on a plane. Drink plenty of water and try to eat fresh foods.
I take packets of "Emer'gen-C" and find it helps to give me energy to stay awake on my first day. It's available at health food stores. You mix it with water and it makes a tasty fizzy drink. It works for me.
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