Jet Lag question

Mar 23rd, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Jet Lag question

How long does it take to get over jet lag? We went to Hawaii for a couple of weeks from the east coast and now 4 days later I'm still dragging and having trouble adjusting my sleep patterns. I feel like such a wimp. How do people handle even father destinations?
tbelgian is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 10:01 AM
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Jet lag is different for everyone. But for me, I can say that I haven't really had any trouble traveling from east to west, only the other way.

When traveling to Europe, I try to sleep on the plane and arrive mid-day. Then, I find some outdoor activity to keep me awake until about 8pm and go to sleep. Usually by the next day I am fine.

Traveling home from Europe (or from Michigan to the western side of the country) I just stay up till a normal time that night. I may be tired by the time that rolls around, since my body thinks it's much later, but then by the next morning things are generally OK.

The only thing I can suggest is to force your body to the local schedule immediately. Don't nap. Don't go to bed earlier or later than a reasonable time on the local clock and figure you'll make it up later. Put up with one day of being really, really tired in the hopes that you will then be on the new schedule for the rest of your trip. If that doesn't work, or if you're already doing that, I'm afraid I'll be no help.
Mar 23rd, 2004, 11:54 AM
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My husband "commutes" to Russia every other other month for work. Jet lag is rough for the 1st 2 days he gets home. He has found trying to stay up til his normal bedtime & then taking something like Ambien (prescription sleep aid)helps. Check with your doctor & see if he will prescribe a small dose of it for you to try. It helps regulate sleep patterns & that's what jet laggers need fixed.

Good luck!
benj is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 12:11 PM
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I'm not usually an herbal medicine taker, but on my trip to China (12 hour time difference) I found that Melatonin helped me sleep when I needed to--both there and back at home.

There are also some pills that people swear by called No-Jet-Lag. I know you can get them at some drug stores and on some travel catalog sites, such as Magellans.
Connie is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 12:33 PM
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What dosage of Melatonin do you take?
makai1 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:42 PM
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In my experience it takes 1 day for every hour of time difference.
Robinsen is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:48 PM
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I was skeptical, but purchased No-Jet-Lag at our local dive shop for $10. Both my husband and I found it to be very effective and neither of us had trouble adjusting to the time change. We also do exactly what Jenifer advised and that seems to work for us as well.
Maggi is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:48 PM
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I usually fly to the east coast from CA about 2-3 times a year, and to Europe about once a year.

Personally, I find going West to East easier, as I find it easier to stay up late, than to get up early. However, a greater problem is that while my body often switches once with no problem, the second time I try to adjust to a time change is when I really have problems, and too often that is me coming home.
BayArea is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:53 PM
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oops, hit send prematurely. I'm thinking that after 4 days of being back, you should be starting to feel better.

As another poster mentioned jet lag can affect every traveller differently. What works for one may not work for another. That said, I try to rest hard for the first day back and then push myself into my normal routine to the greatest extent possible. I also try to up the exercise significantly so that my body rhythms change, and so that I have a greater chance of going to bed at an appropriate hour and staying asleep once I'm in bed.

Good luck.
BayArea is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:56 PM
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I think that most people, myself included, would disagree that going west to east is easier than vice versa. Whenever I fly west to east I have the worst jet lag because you are basically losing time. When i have to get up at 6AM on the east, it's 3AM out west. Then at night I can't go to sleep until after midnight. Going in the opposite direction you are gaining 3 hours.

I guess the best analogy to use is when we change the time in April and October. Moving the time ahead an hour, which we all hate to do, is analagous to going west to east, and moving the time back and hour, which we like to do in October is analagous to going from east to west.
Robinsen is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Jet lag affects different people in different ways.

One must usually cross 3-4 time zones to be affected (not everyone gets jet lag to begin with, however).

While more people are bothered by symptoms flying west to east than opposite, there is no consistent rule which applies to everyone in this regard.

Best aids to minimizing symptoms: adjust your sleep-eat schedule to match new time schedule (each way) immediately, get plenty of sunlight as situation permits, avoid heavy meals initially, exercise moderately early in the day when possible, avoid alcohol and caffeine during travel, avoid dehydration, begin adjusting sleep schedule a few days prior to travel, stay well rested during travel.

Melatonin is not an herb; it's a hormone and is available in many parts of the world only by prescription. There is conflicting data on its effectiveness, but at present there is no consensus on its efficacy, dosage guidelines or safety profile. Some of the data supporting its efficacy is of good quality, but the aggregate volume of data published thus far is still modest.

rwilliams is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 04:35 AM
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I bought melatonin but haven't tried it. I looked for it when we were in London so I could try it when we got back. They told me that it was banned there because of side effects.

Here are a couple of sites with info on it. As with any "supplement" product, make sure it won't interfere with any other medicine that you regularly take.
benj is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 05:38 AM
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The last thing I do BEFORE I get on an airplane going anywhere.......set my watch to the local time of my destination..always works so that I am already thinking according to the local time..Thats not to say that I dont get jetlag,but every little bit helps me to cope.
BeachBoi is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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Makai1, I just take one about an hour before when I want to go to bed.

rwilliams, I stand corrected. Melatonin was in the herb section of the suppliment aisle, hence my assumption.
Connie is offline  
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