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Perks
04-23-2009, 06:26 PM
I have a trip coming up, and I was hoping to get tips from traveling AWers on how best to minimize the dragass of jetlag.

Any suggestions?

MattW
04-23-2009, 06:27 PM
Which direction and what time do you depart?

maestrowork
04-23-2009, 06:30 PM
Observe your regular sleeping hours locally for the first day. Meaning, if it's 9 p.m. but it's 3 a.m. back home, don't go to sleep until 11 p.m. which is your normal bedtime. Or if it's 11 p.m. there but 6 p.m. back home, go to bed anyway (maybe take a sleeping aid if you really can't sleep). After that first night, you should be fine. Works every time for me.

It usually is worse going EAST. I have no trouble with jet lag when I go west, even to Asia. But when I come back eastward, that's when I have trouble. But the above method helped me every time.

Perks
04-23-2009, 06:32 PM
Which direction and what time do you depart?
I'll be going from DC to Ireland in the evening, arriving first thing in the morning.

The trip home will leave Ireland at lunchtime and get me home three hours later, after like nine hours in the air. Waaaaaaah!

Our whole family is traveling and my children are angels. (Really, they're little freaks, they're so good.) I just want to be able to have us feeling as good as possible, so we can maximize our fun.

Wayne K
04-23-2009, 06:39 PM
If you're going to be on a plane that long it's important to get out of your seat and stretch. If you have enough room to do deep kneebends, it helps a lot.

firedrake
04-23-2009, 06:40 PM
What Maestro said.

It's harder flying east but I've never had any problem heading west.

Perks
04-23-2009, 06:45 PM
I've traveled across the US (DC to San Diego) a lot, and I've been to Europe a few times, but that has been so long ago. I was young and didn't have children with me.

I've forgotten how to travel!

maestrowork
04-23-2009, 06:48 PM
I'll be going from DC to Ireland in the evening, arriving first thing in the morning.

If you're arriving in the morning, you'll be okay... just find ways to keep yourself awake through the day and then go to bed the same time you would at home. You should be fine for the rest of the trip. The hardest thing is to keep yourself awake the first day. Drink coffee or energy drink or something. If you have slept and got enough rest on the plane, you would be fine. DO NOT take a nap, though, because they would mess up your internal clock.

And Ireland! How envious should I be?

quickWit
04-23-2009, 06:50 PM
It's harder flying east but I've never had any problem heading west.

Oh, that's offensive.

Perks
04-23-2009, 06:53 PM
And Ireland! How envious should I be?Huge. We have a cottage in the Ring of Kerry (http://www.ringofkerrytourism.com/gallery.html).

And when I go to the UK, I'm going to a Doctor Who museum. Plus, other assorted goodies.

maestrowork
04-23-2009, 06:56 PM
Huge. We have a cottage in the Ring of Kerry (http://www.ringofkerrytourism.com/gallery.html).


I officially hate you now.

Perks
04-23-2009, 06:59 PM
I officially hate you now.Then you shan't get a postcard.

maestrowork
04-23-2009, 07:04 PM
ooh, blackmail. after i gave u such stellar jet lag advice, i should at least get something.

Perks
04-23-2009, 07:32 PM
Oh, you'll get something alright. I remember those who profess their hatred for me - out loud.

Namatu
04-23-2009, 08:39 PM
I'm jealous! I love Ireland.

Make sure you drink water on the plane. Stay hydrated. Usually when I go overseas, I try to sleep on the plane and drink at least a liter of water. I end up going through a period in which I'm so tired I would love for someone to put me out of my misery, but then I get to my destination and all the new things give me energy. I've never been jet lagged going to or from Europe.

P.S. You can send me Ray's postcard! :D

Wayne K
04-23-2009, 09:33 PM
Then you shan't get a postcard.

Better cross me off that list too..

Wayne K
04-23-2009, 09:34 PM
Oh, you'll get something alright. I remember those who profess their hatred for me - out loud.
Uh-oh!

Perks
04-23-2009, 10:12 PM
Better cross me off that list too..You hate me, too?

Hmmm, I can't tell if I'm doing something right or I'm doing something wrong.

semilargeintestine
04-23-2009, 10:34 PM
I don't get jet lag either way, so I doubt I can help. I make sure to sleep on long plane rides as well as get up and walk around, stretch, etc. On transatlantic flights, the flight crew usually doesn't mind you walking around or even conversing with them as long as you aren't a PITA.

K1P1
04-23-2009, 11:08 PM
Best way to avoid jet lag: take a boat instead of a plane. They change the clocks one hour each night, and you arrive already on time, with no jet lag.

Since that's not actually an option, I agree with the advice to stay up all day. Make sure you get exercise--walk around outside in natural light. Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol.

Where I differ is, if you find your inner clock hard to reset (like when the time changes in the spring and fall), go inside when it gets to be dusk, do something calm and quiet for a while, and then go to bed as soon as you feel sleepy. I find that I can stay up on the new time, but my clock wakes me up on the old time, so I get pretty much no sleep at all. Going to bed early evening can help you catch up on the sleep you missed while flying overnight, so you feel better the next day, even if you do wake up early.

Bravo
04-24-2009, 12:27 AM
you're already one step ahead by taking a night flight, matey. what i would do, is sleep the entire way there, then stay up until it's evening in ayeland, then go to sleep all prim and proper like and wake up fresh and rejuvenated the next day.

problem solved.

you're very welcome.

Perks
04-24-2009, 12:31 AM
y go to sleep all prim and proper like You just told me to button up and sleep in flannel. And a bonnet. I just don't know you anymore, Bravo.

Bravo
04-24-2009, 12:34 AM
that's what they do in ireland!

i saw it on a tv special about the famine.

they were all wearing flannel.

vrabinec
04-24-2009, 12:43 AM
When I fly home from D.C. to the Czech Republic to party with my uncles, I always stay up as long as I can the first night there, fight the urge to sleep like I'm pulling an all-nighter back at college, then hit the sack when they do (or maybe 3-4 hours earlier) and I end up sleeping like a log and waking up refreshed, on the right time schedule.

When I come back, I never seem to have trouble re-adjusting because, by the time I wind my way home from the airport, it's usually 2-3 pm anyway, and I fight it until 6-7 and then crash.

I can never seem to get good sleep on the plane, but those few minutes of dozing off before my head rolls rown my chest and the neck snaps keep me up long enough so that I can fight it and stay away upon landing in both instances.

Wayne K
04-24-2009, 01:31 AM
You hate me, too?

Hmmm, I can't tell if I'm doing something right or I'm doing something wrong.

My dream if I were to be published, is to take whatever money there is and come home to the motherland to write a book. Those photos are exactly as I've pictured it in my mond.

My family is here too short of a time to feel so far from my heritage.

backslashbaby
04-24-2009, 01:34 AM
Have fun!

Coming back is where I get so worn out, because with security, etc., the amount of time spent with airline stuff is insane. Especially if you have to connect with a domestic flight.

Please tell me you don't have to go through Philly. Any trip is a good trip if it doesn't involve the Philidelphia airport ;) !!

RLB
04-24-2009, 03:45 AM
I'll add to the chorus suggesting no naps, stay up all day the first day there. I usually try to stay up most of the night before I leave the States too - I'm always packing last minute anyway - so I'll be exhausted by the time I get on the plane and can sleep through the seven hour plane trip and feel like I've had a full night's rest. LIke others have said, coming back west isn't bad at all.

And officially jealous as well. I love Ireland - northern and southern, it's all gorgeous. You'll have a blast!

KTC
04-24-2009, 06:52 AM
Ooh. I will have to bookmark this thread for my trip to Kenya...I've been wondering the same thing.

Dichroic
04-24-2009, 08:55 AM
I'll be going from DC to Ireland in the evening, arriving first thing in the morning.

The trip home will leave Ireland at lunchtime and get me home three hours later, after like nine hours in the air. Waaaaaaah!


It's getting to where that's feeling like a *short* trip for us. (Really. You should try doing Taiwan to Europe or the US every few months. My travel has at least been cut back due to economics but my husband is still doing trips to the Netherlands every 2 months or so - week after next we're on holiday in Malaysia and he'll be leaving for a business trip either the day we return or the day after.)

Anyway, I do like night trips, as others have said. Try to sleep as much as possible on the plane - I recommend taking ear plugs and maybe eyeshades. (Unless you're traveling business class, in which case they'll probably be provided.) Try to stay awake at least until after dinner the first day, which can suck but do it anyway.

Often getting to sleep the first night is OK but the second night finds you wakeful. If you and your spouse are both jet lagged and you have a bedroom separate from the children, if you're both finding yourself awake at 2AM, certain, er, marital activities can be very helpful in both helping get back to sleep and making you not mind being awake so much.

Dichroic
04-24-2009, 08:57 AM
Please tell me you don't have to go through Philly. Any trip is a good trip if it doesn't involve the Philidelphia airport ;) !!

Why so? I haven't found it worse than other US airports, except there always seems to be construction. Plus you can get soft pretzels, which in my world is always a bonus. (My family's all in Philly, so I've flown in and out a good bit, and will be going back in August.)

mario_c
04-24-2009, 09:31 AM
Well done, travelers. There is no punishment adequate for the geniuses who designed the horror that is the coach red-eye. You're trapped in a 15 foot wide aluminum tube with 7 seats spanning the width - hard seats packed in next to each other, forcing you to share personal space with total strangers as your back gnarls in agonizing pain. And you are expected to SLEEP like that?!

fringle
04-24-2009, 10:42 AM
You'll be fine. That's an easy flight and only a 5 hour time difference. When I fly from East Coast US to Western Europe all I do is make sure I go out to dinner a bit later than usual on my first night, and make sure that place has good food that will keep me awake and interested. If you stay up late the first night, you'll fall into a good pattern for the rest of the trip.

Cassiopeia
04-24-2009, 11:01 AM
I have a trip coming up, and I was hoping to get tips from traveling AWers on how best to minimize the dragass of jetlag.

Any suggestions?


do not drink alcoholic beverages (they dehydrate you) before, during or immediately after the flight.
take 1-3 mg tablets of melatonin with you to help you sleep on the flight and that night to adjust your sleeping schedule.
if you arrive in the early part or middle of the day, do NOT take a nap.
go for a nice leisurely walk before dinner.
drink lots and lots of water.
don't splurge on sugary snacks as it causes an increase and subsequent drop in blood sugars.

Namatu
04-24-2009, 05:18 PM
And, when sleeping on the plane, do not drool on your seat mate's shoulder.

Perks
04-24-2009, 05:26 PM
Thanks guys! I appreciate the tips. I think the sleeping thing is going to be tricky on the plane and that's where the big hurdle will be. My girls have rarely been on a plane (the youngest doesn't even ever remember her previous flights) so they are very wound up about it, even though the trip is still a little ways off.

KTC
04-24-2009, 09:09 PM
And, when sleeping on the plane, do not drool on your seat mate's shoulder.


LOL...I'll remember this one. Last month I fell into the person sitting beside me. Thank God it was my brother. I sit down on a plane and I fall asleep...next thing I know, we're landing.

Namatu
04-24-2009, 11:57 PM
That's the best way to fly, KTC. It used to be automatic for me, but one time I missed the cookies the flight attendants were handing out. I'd gotten bumped up to first class and fell asleep before we even took off. Haven't been able to fall asleep so easily on a plane since. ;)

Cassiopeia
04-25-2009, 01:02 AM
LOL...I'll remember this one. Last month I fell into the person sitting beside me. Thank God it was my brother. I sit down on a plane and I fall asleep...next thing I know, we're landing.
Lucky you, I never sleep on them...well okay I never sleep so I'm the one the old people chat to because they can't sleep either and let me tell you, there's some stories I don't think people should share, let alone mid a transatlantic flight. *falls over*

KTC
04-25-2009, 01:07 AM
i was flying with 3 brothers. i just dozed, really. they were all talking a mile a minute. with them, i'm surprised i didn't wake up duct taped to the wing. my africa flight will be with myself...well, not technically. i don't have wings. but i will be alone. well, i'm sure there will be other passengers, but i won't know them. hopefully i can keep the drooling to a minimum.

Cassiopeia
04-25-2009, 01:08 AM
Oh just you wait, that's a long trip...you'll get to know your fellow passengers. :D

KTC
04-25-2009, 01:11 AM
i'll bring my how to win friends and influence people book for reference. and my ask me if i care t-shirt, just in case.

Cassiopeia
04-25-2009, 01:14 AM
i'll bring my how to win friends and influence people book for reference. and my ask me if i care t-shirt, just in case.Now, now...there's an advantage to being approachable. You learn a lot of things from people who know stuff...handy stuff, things they don't normally tell tourists. :D

Who needs a book? Just smile and bat your eyes.



*pauses* Oh wait. That works for ME. ;) never mind.

KTC
04-25-2009, 01:21 AM
lol. I will be friendly and open and willing to learn during my whole trip. I plan to write about it...I need to connect with people in order to do it justice. I promise to be approachable.