What hours are worst for Jetlag?

May 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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What hours are worst for Jetlag?

I am arriving in Zurich on a September morning around 8:30am (18 hours since I left home). Then I go through immigrations/customs (btw how long does that take?) and then pickup Hertz car and head out for a 3 hours drive to BO.

I wonder if I am going to be driving at the most dreaded jet lag hour (my body clock is attuned to CDT (GMT - 6hrs) and I am very prone to jetlag (no pill works).

Will stopping for a few hours in Lucerne be a better idea?
Kalpana_Kar is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Figure out when your body says it's between 2 and 4 AM, and try not to drive or use anything sharp in that period. That's when your cycles are at their lowest ebb.
Gardyloo is online now  
May 15th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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And when you're doing the figuring, keep in mind that U.S. Central Time is GMT-6 and Central European time is GMT+1. So the offset is 7 hours, not 6.
Robespierre is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Hi KK,

I don't suggest a 3 hr drive after being up all night.

ira is online now  
May 15th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Everyone handles things differently. DH and I have taken numerous 2-3 hour drives after flying all night, and many times it takes us longer than 18 hours to get to our destination from when we left. We haven't had any problems whatsoever. However, we handle jetlag pretty well and can usually stay awake the first full day without much of a problem. If you don't handle jet lag as well, I wouldn't suggest a 3 hour drive. I would either stay in Zurich for the night, or perhaps train to Lucerne or the BO and pick up the car there so you don't have to drive on your first day.

tcreath is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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Unless you have done this sort of trip many times (Which I assume isn't the case) you can't possibly know what sort of shape you'll be in. And don't think of it as 18 hours - you will already been up several hours before you step foot on the plane. What if you are really excited the night before your trip and don't sleep much - you could be looking at being awake 36 or 40 hours or more.

You might be one of the lucky ones who isn't affected at all by jet lag, OR you could be a zombie.

Unfortunately you won't know which it is until after you arrive.

My recommendation is to either 1) spend the first day/night in Zurich, or 2) take the train from Zurich to your first stop and pick up a car the next day.
janisj is online now  
May 15th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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IF you can get some sleep on the plane (not much, even just some slight napping), you would LIKELY be ok for at least a few hours after arriving. If you can't sleep at all, you'll be a zombie, of course. Hard to say, varys from person to person.
grsing is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 10:22 PM
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I am always most tired in mid- to late-afternoon after a trans-Atantlic flight. Schedule a short nap around 3-4pm.
rkkwan is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 12:32 PM
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We are getting ready to do the same thing. However, I'm a "night owl" anyway and I can stay up all night here at home and be fine the next day. And, I can sleep on the plane. However, my husband is a different story - he goes to bed early, gets up early and can't sleep on the plane. So we'll see how he does. We've decided to take the train to Lucerne so driving isn't going to be an issue for us.

Good luck! and have fun!
whitneykt is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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I would never be able to drive at the end of an 18 hour trip, I am quite prone to jet lag and time change. I would have to stay the night in Zurich or somewhere nearby that I could reach on the train.
suze is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Thanks for all the wonderful responses.

I have on 6 previous occasions travelled to India. Usually it takes around 40 hours door-to-door (2 hrs to prepare + 2 hrs arrive at airport before check-in + 2 hours flight to hub NYC/CHI/DET + 3-4 hours layover + 7-8 hours flight to Europe LHR/AMS/CDG + 3-4 Hours layover + 10-11 hrs to BOM/DEL + 3-4 hrs layover + 2 hrs to destination airport + 2 hours to reach base). I usually reach around noon.

Then I freshen up and am quite alert till around sunset (6pm) when I zone out. I wake up at 3 am next morning.
Many times I needed to pack the previous 2-3 nights before flight till late hours. Probably that added to my woes.

This will be first Europe Jetlag experience. I think I'm going to play it by ear and if I think I cannot handle driving 2-3 hours (maybe breaking for lunch halfway) then I'll pickup car at a later city and take train (inspite of luggage/ small kids et all).

If I'm lucky I might be able to get to base camp before jetlag strikes and then crash out (figuratively speaking).
Kalpana_Kar is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 04:17 PM
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I've had two harrowing experiences in the last 5 year. The first was a flight home from Barcelona to Kennedy where I had rented a car to drive back the 2 1/2 hours to central Mass. It was nearly 10 PM before we left Kennedy. We had planned on 8 PM and a missed exit to I95 delayed us further. On I84 just north of Hartford, less than an hour from home, I dozed for just a second. Fortunately, the road has rumble strips and my wife was with me together we were able to control the car before we went off the road.

The second scare occured when we flew from Boston to Glasgow with a change at Heathrow. We drove to Gourock on the Clyde to visit one of my wife's schoolmates, had lunch and were heading back to Glasgow on the M8 when I again nodded off. This time with about $700 damage to the passenger side.

Jetlag has not been a problem and I've driven without incident from Gatwick to Cirencester and Heathrow to Salisbury after early morning arrivals from Boston. Both of these journeys were longer than the previous two but were not on the superhighways.

I recommend you spend your first night in Zurich and pick up your rental the next morning.
jsmith is offline  

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