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What's your best tip for avoiding jet lag?

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ozbeachbabe

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Just curious as to the tried and true tips people use to avoid jet lag.

In the case of an early morning arrival at your destination some people will tell you not to sleep at all then stay up all day before going to bed at 'normal' time at your destination.

I'm in favour of listening to your body & if it's telling you it's tired then have a sleep. On a recent trip to the USA we flew BNE/LAX on QF15 so left BNE around 1130. We didn't end up sleeping as were distracted by the choice of inflight movies but thankfully had Skybeds which was like veging on the couch at home. We didn't really feed tired because we were still on BNE time but of course by the time we arrived in LAX we were.

We had pre-booked the Sheraton Four Points on a 24/24 rate which gave us a 24 hour stay from our time of checkin (you need to give the hotel at least 48 hours notice for an early check-in) which ended up being about 0800 as we picked up a rental car and drove it the short distance to the airport hotel vicinity which was a bit of a challenge as we realised after collecting the car we didn't have our GPS with us. Fortunately my avgeek intuition pointed us in the right direction after looking up in the sky & seeing the planes on final approach & knowing where our hotel was in relation to the runways. :p

It was great after the long flight to be able to checkin to our hotel immediately, have a shower a get about 5 hours sleep. We woke up early afternoon feeling refreshed & like we'd had a proper nights sleep so drove up to Santa Monica for dinner. Once back at the hotel we were still able to go to bed around 2200 local and didn't have any trouble falling asleep and waking up early the next day.

Perhaps the trick is to not sleep 8 hours on arrival as we mightn't have been able to get to sleep at night.

Would be interesting to hear what you have done & would do again vs what didn't work for you & what you would avoid doing next time.
 

clazman

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I haven't cracked the secret ... i find it takes me three days to return to normal
 

boomy

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I use Melatonin. 3mg pre day take two nights before arrival (coming from Europe it's on the two night flights) and one more night after. Works great for me and can enjoy as much food and alcohol as I want during that time.
 
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ozbeachbabe

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I haven't cracked the secret ... i find it takes me three days to return to normal
Is that a variety of destinations or the same one?

A lot of times we've come back from the US via Hawaii and had a stopover we've had zero jetlag because as HNL is 20 hours behind BNE 2200 HST is 1800 in BNE (the day ahead) so it's been a day flight HNL/xSYD/BNE on QF or HNL/BNE on HA so we haven't had to sleep on an overnight flight plus with an evening arrival back at home you go to bed in the evening as you would had you not been away & wake up in the morning as usual.

Other contributing factors may be when the time zone is the complete opposite of home ie 1900 in BNE is 0900 in LON which could prove more of a challenge - not sure if Aussies have a harder time adapting when arriving in the UK from Oz or arriving back home from the UK.
 

blackcat20

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Flying in to LA, I usually cave in to a 30 min nap and that's enough to get me through to bed time. And I don't sleep particularly well during the flight.
 

SYD

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I do find arriving at night or afternoon and not trying to do too much helps. One holiday trip to the US (SYD-LAX-DFW-FLL) we made it to a bar in time for happy hour $3 Long Island Iced Teas served in pickling jars. 3 or 4 of those put us to sleep and not even a hint of jet lag until we got home!
 

clazman

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Is that a variety of destinations or the same one?
I struggle with any time difference even going to conferences in Melbourne.

Last trip to the North America, went Perth - Sydney - HK - Vancouver - Toronto (took 3 days due to flight changes and ice storms) that just about killed me :)
 

Himeno

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I change time for the new timezone upon boarding and act as if I'm already in the timezone I'm flying to when the flight departs. eg, QF11 departs SYD at 1500, or 2000 US PT. I go to sleep 4-5 hours into the flight. When I wake up 5-6 hours later, it's ~6am PT and 3 hours from landing.
Only times I have issues are 4-5 hour overnight flights such as SIN-TYO where it's hard to get more then 2-3 hours sleep, and lunch time departing Asia-Europe flights.
 

TheRealTMA

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To usa/ Canada no problem really. Very long day when you arrive. Alcohol , food then sleep 4-5 hrs on plane, arrive check in and walk about, dinner and stay up till 9 then sleep till next day.

Plus on all flights change watch to destination time as prev post.

Coming home from Europe is worse because of direction but from NA is better. Takes three days to acclimatise from Europe or is that just adrenaline exhaustion.

One solution, fly the long way to NA via Dubai and stay O/N.
 

QF029

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Arrival early morning I usually find that the adrenalin of being in a different place is enough to get me through the day. I'm a night person anyway so can often go through until the small hours.

Using QF93 as an example I would get up very early for departure which makes me more likely to sleep a few hours on the flight.

If you do need a nap on arrival keep it short.
 

dougieboy

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Try to stay awake until 9pm local time at your destination then pop a valium (travel related insomnia) and get some good rest. Wake up the next morning at 9 and go about your business. I find a little swim or light jog for 15 mins to get the heart rate up and burn off any foggy effects from the prescription drug. Valium only works if you rarely take it, I always have a packets worth as you never want to walk around like a zombie in a country you've never been to, you want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed and take in all the sights and sounds. Negative on the booze for long haul flights, it actually disrupts your REM sleep. Carbs an hour before bed will help with satiety and as always a nice long shower. Ear plugs in case your travel companion snores. Drink only when thirsty.
 

Benzo

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I change time for the new timezone upon boarding and act as if I'm already in the timezone I'm flying to when the flight departs. eg, QF11 departs SYD at 1500, or 2000 US PT. I go to sleep 4-5 hours into the flight. When I wake up 5-6 hours later, it's ~6am PT and 3 hours from landing.
Only times I have issues are 4-5 hour overnight flights such as SIN-TYO where it's hard to get more then 2-3 hours sleep, and lunch time departing Asia-Europe flights.
I am pretty much the same and have little trouble if any. I can never sleep on a flight the same as at home, but some sleep is always possible. I time it according to the arrival of my flight at destination. If it's a long haul (like I recently went JNB-DOH-NRT) I work out the time it is in destination (in this case Tokyo) and plan to sleep according to that. Sometimes I only get about 5 hours on a super-long haul like that, but coupled with sitting doing nothing during the flight I find that it'll get me through the day (if I happen to arrive in the morning). Then a solid sleep the next night and all is good and I am off with no real jet lag.

Sometimes this means I am wrecked during the flight - particularly during transfers. This is due to "staying up" way passed normal sleep time in the location you are coming from. But I'd rather be "wrecked" while sitting doing nothing than when I am on the ground and needing/wanting to go go go.

PS: For what its worth, I really don't suggest Valium. Not good.
 

RooFlyer

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I mainly travel east to Nth America and usually do the keep-awake-till-10pm thing on the first night and sleep most of the way through. Second night is usually bad, even with melatonin; I get to sleep, then wake up an hour or so later. Might take a temazapan then. Next few nights get progressively a bit better. Try to keep off the temazapan, but will take a 'Nytol' (US non prescription sleep aid) if I'm lacking sleep and need to work the next day.

In other words, no avoiding jet lag. Just a matter of countering it to the best effect and I have no method that gets me into sync earlier than 4 nights.

Going west from Australia I find much better to overcome. And returning home west from Nth America is a cinch.
 

straitman

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I use Melatonin. 3mg pre day take two nights before arrival (coming from Europe it's on the two night flights) and one more night after. Works great for me and can enjoy as much food and alcohol as I want during that time.
Unfortunately Melatonin does not work for everyone. In my case it keeps me well and truly awake.

In fact it works better than caffeine for me. :shock::shock::shock::shock:
 

exceladdict

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The stay-awake thing works great for me, I find if I sleep on the plane I get wrecked. Last trip PER-MEL-LAX departed PER 11pm, then MEL 11am to arrive at LAX 6am, by my calcs I was up for about 40 hours and had more coffees than I'd dare to count. Mrs Excel says that when we checked in to the accom at around 8am, I was delirious in conversation with concierge - don't even remember it! We intended on napping for a few hours but slept through to 6pm. However, we then went out for drinks and karaoke, and after sleeping midnight to 9am, I was set for the rest of the trip. Others we were travelling with took a week to recover, however.

On the way home - LAS-LAX-MEL-PER with about 4 hours at each stopover - I made the mistake of sleeping for 2 hours on the long haul (well, I fell asleep while watching Lés Mis), and it took me a week to adjust back to Perth time.

Next OS trip is in J so will use the "swap to destination time on departure" method and see how that goes.
 

Katie

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Melatonin, unless I'm with Little Miss 8, then no melatonin or even ear plugs on flights with her!

I normally sleep a bit on QF15/11 as I'm invariably tired. Arriving into California (typically tho going up to SFO) and Mountain time is fine, but East Coast sucks for me, even with melatonin and red wine. I normally get in on Sun night & maybe sleep more than 4hrs on Weds night.
 

kevrosmith

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It was great after the long flight to be able to checkin to our hotel immediately, have a shower a get about 5 hours sleep. We woke up early afternoon feeling refreshed & like we'd had a proper nights sleep so drove up to Santa Monica for dinner. Once back at the hotel we were still able to go to bed around 2200 local and didn't have any trouble falling asleep and waking up early the next day.
I did this as well when I flew BNE-LAX last August. I had a short nap on the plane, but wasn't too worried, knowing I was going to sleep for a few hours during the day when I arrived on the Friday. I got about 6 hours at the Hilton LAX. My main challenge was that I followed this immediately by a 48 hour status run to SJU and back. By the time I headed onto Chicago on the Monday to start my holiday for real, I was absolutely wrecked. I slept for 12 hours straight, but that reset everything. Considering I'd jumped bck and forth across about 16+ timezones in 3 days, I thought it worked out well enough.
 

Scarlett

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If arriving into US in the AM hrs after the flight over the Pacific: play a game of golf that afternoon! Walking around in the sunlight gets you through to the evening and then you can sleep through like a normal evening. Well it works for me anyway.

If travelling J then not really a problem as that usually means sleep on the o/night flight, but if in whY on the TPAC flight then that's where the zombie arrival into the US takes hold! I find that a shower in the LAX T4 AA FL before the connection helps with that.

And I wanted to respond here so we got two Calvin & Hobbes avatars in a row!
 

ozbeachbabe

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If travelling J then not really a problem as that usually means sleep on the o/night flight, but if in whY on the TPAC flight then that's where the zombie arrival into the US takes hold! I find that a shower in the LAX T4 AA FL before the connection helps with that.
As well as the showers they've got comfy leather recliners & footstools plus what look like noise cancelling headsets with different music channels.

If travelling in whY I like the seating option of two seats on the side for a couple as no pesky third person to climb over you or for you to climb over.

Lounge access is great plus a stopover or hotel for a long transit particularly when returning from Europe to Oz.
 
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