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Wondering the best way to avoid jet lag...

Wondering the best way to avoid jet lag...

Old Jul 11th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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I can vouch for the no-jet-lag pills. I thought they really took the edge off. Example- Every year I take the same flight from Chicago-London departing around 9 pm (close to my normal bedtime) and arriving in the morning). I usually require a 1-2 hour rest/nap period during the first day in London to take the edge off of the jet lag. Also, I usually get some sleep on those flights because it's close to my regular bedtime.

This time the cheapest flight I could get to London departed at 4:30 ish and arrived in London at 5:30 am. Panic! There's no way I can fall asleep at 4:30 when it's not even close to my regular bedtime. So -what the heck- invested in the no jet lag pills. I got tired one or two times throughout the day, but nothing so extreme an espresso won't cure it. I made it the whole day without a nap and stayed out until 1 am. So I think the no jet lag pills really helped.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Whichever direction: begin 2-3 days ahead of time. Go to bed earlier/later and get up earlier/later. Agree with worldinabag: set your watch immediately and don't think about what you would have been doing if...
When you arrive in Ireland, don't go to sleep. I guess that won't be a problem if you have to be up all day for registration etc.! Just resist the temptation to indulge in more than 1 Guiness for the first 2 days or so...
Try to get on an Irish schedule as soon as possible. Don't let yourself sleep in "because it's only 3 am at home". Force yourself to accept the new time zone asap and the pain will be limited!
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Thank you all for such great advice. I never even would have thought about trying to get used to their time before I leave! I think I'll be able to get some sleep on the plane, thankfully.

Just one more question: where can I find melatonin or No Jet-Lag? I've seen websites saying, "buy here" for the latter, but I am wary of purchasing things, especially things I will be ingesting, over the internet!! For melatonin, would I just go to places that sell multivitamins? Just wondering. Thanks.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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I just returned from my 20th trip to Europe. The one thing that helps me is NEVER sleeping on the plane or in the country of my arrival UNTIL it is bedtime in that country.Same holds true upon arrival returning to the U.S. It really works!!
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:48 AM
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yes melaton is available at any store that sells supplements. i've also seen no jet lag at health food stores and even in luggage shops.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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artjoanne- you do not sleep on the plane even when it's an over night flight (leaving my home in the evening arriving London the next morning)??
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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I think the rule about sleeping or not has to do with the time the flight arrives at its destination. You want to do whatever it takes to by in sync at the destination. So if it is a day flight that arrives somewhere in the evening: stay awake on the flight so you will be ready to sleep the first night on arrival. If it is an overnight flight that arrives early in the day, you should sleep, then stay awake the whole day on arrival...so again you can sleep normally at night.

So the original poster would stay awake on the first flight to Newark, then sleep on the flight to Belfast. On arrival stay awake the first day!

A short nap would be OK on arrival, as long as it was short, and then you got on with your day. Since a short nap can turn into a long nap, I find things like a massage the very best rejuvenator. You can sleep (for an hour max!)...the massage stimulates your circulation and gets you ready to face that first day.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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I've made many transatlantic trips to visit my UK family over the years (from CT). Here's what works for me:

1. I get to the airport early enough so that I can eat in the restaurant before boarding. Flying out of JFK, I like the 9 pm departure on BA. Timing works well for us.

2. As others have said, forget what time it would be "back home". I set my watch to arrival time zone when I board the flight. (If your flight departs at 7 pm, that would be midnight UK time so eating dinner before boarding really makes sense.)

3. Settle in for the flight -- eyemask, earplugs, shoes off. I don't watch the movie, drink alchohol, or eat the meal (already did that!) I close my eyes and at least doze for as long as possible. Sometimes I really do sleep, through breakfast! (No loss, the BA inflight breakfast is awful.) Keep water on hand, and stay hydrated through the night.

4. Once in the UK, I eat a good breakfast (Caffe Italia in Terminal 4 if you're flying BA), drink coffee, and head off to my destination. Last few trips that has meant renting a car and driving for 3 hours -- I was concerned about how that would work with jetlag, but the adrenaline helped, and we were fine.

5. If I really HAVE to nap the first day, I limit it to an hour. I try to get out in the fresh air -- walk around, be social (sunshine really helps, but be outside even if it's not sunny).

6. Get to bed a bit earlier than usual the first day -- by next day, I'm usually fine. Keep in mind that jetlag is not just lack of sleep, but also that your, um, bodily functions will be on a different schedule for a while! ;-)

By the way, I have tried Melatonin (from my local drugstore) -- it does help for longer trips, bigger time change, but I also find I tend to have very vivid dreams when I take it. Maybe that's just me... doesn't affect DH that way.

As faredolce said, it's the flight west that's harder to deal with -- I call it post-vacation lag!

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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Hi, CC,
I just returned from Europe a couple of days ago and managed not to suffer from the horrible jet lag others seem so prone to. Here's what I did:

First, you've scheduled your flight for the best time of day--early evening. As soon as you're settled in your seat, set your watch to the local time of your destination. The mind does odd and wonderful things and just the most simple reminder of what time it is will help your body adjust. Secondly, drink plenty of water and NO alcohol. I did eat the meal provided by the airline, as I found that I got more sleepy on a full stomach. By the time the meal service was finished, it was time to sleep. I managed to get about 5 hours of sleep (which is all I get at home, too) and when I woke up, we were just an hour or so from landing.

On the way home... hopefully your flight will leave late morning to early afternoon, and if so, you can take advantage of the in-flight movie to stay awake. Remember to immediately set your watch for the local time where you live so that your mind and body can begin to aclimate themselves to this new reality.

This is the only 'trick' I've ever used and on the several trips to/from Europe from the midwest I've never had any problems. A friend of mine tried waking up earlier and earlier each day for about a week before we left in hopes of avoiding jet lag. It didn't seem to work for him, but you might find some success in that as well. Good luck!
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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I like to get some ideas to quickly recover from jet lag. I am flying from Atlanta to Singapore. I will leave in morning (ATL), and arrive Singapore local time mid-night. Any suggestion/experience are very welcome!

I do have jet lag problem in past, both to Singapore and back to Atlanta.

Thank you!
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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"Wondering the best way to avoid jet lag..."

Take a boat
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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I find that it helps to avoid alcohol on the flight.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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I don't sleep on the plane, either. When I get to my destination, I unpack, stroll the vicinity of where I am staying. I might take a very short nap in the afternoon, go to dinner, and then to bed a little early for a good night's sleep.

I also find that whenever I am traveling, I like to come back to my hotel with a small snack at about 4 or 5 p.m. I put up my feet, read, relax, soak in a hot tub etc. until I go out for dinner and whatever I have planned for the evening. If I'm going to the theater or some performance that starts early, rather than giving up my relaxation time, I'll get more than a snack and have a picnic dinner in my room. The second tip isn't for jetlag, but sure makes the trip more enjoyable. Afterall, most of us are on vacation to get away from the stress of our workaday world, but too many turn their vacations into a stressful rush from one sight to another.

I also try to give myself at least one day every week without any plans to do with as I decide at the last minute. Usually these are days I choose to stroll in a park, read a book under a tree, watch children play. I remind myself that everything will still be there the next time. Always an excuse to go back.
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