February 18, 2013

Jet Lag

Jet Lag

 Jet Lag is my nemesis.

For years I followed the advice of the "experts" by adjusting my bedtime before leaving, dressing comfortably and moving around on the plane, avoiding caffeine and alcohol and drinking lots of water.
None of it worked.
Every time I return from a trip to the States I suffer horribly from jet lag.

Maybe you have a trick that works for you? Something I haven't tried?

And now I'm off to take a nap.

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Carina said...

Don't adjust sleep ahead of the flight but from the moment you board the plane adjust your meals to match times of where you are headed - skip all others, along with the snacks in between. Then, and this is easier said than done, try and book a flight that arrives later in the afternoon, not in the morning. If you've been awake on a long haul flight and arrive in the am, you need to stay away all day, whereas an afternoon/evening flight means you can arrive, have a proper meal, a shower and relax then sleep and wake up normal the next day. The later in the day you can arrive, the better you'll beat the jetlag. That, and a glass of vin rouge for bed once you make it home. :)

Heather Lindstrom said...

I always suffer from my worst jet lag upon returning to the states from Europe. I think it's because I am so excited about arriving at my destination and immersing myself in adventure. When I come home it's comfy, I'm exhausted and it's time to chill. Following this last trip to Europe during the holidays I gave myself a 'pajama' and laundry day with napping encouraged. I say take that nap~you deserve it!
Cheers, Heather

Richard Ewen said...

We've been going back and forth from LA/Paris for many years and the way we beat jet lag is to take NO JET LAG, an herbal pill sold on line and at REI and other traveler's outlets. You take one when you are in your seat and one every two hours. If you miss one because you are sleeping, it doesn't matter.

We leave the US late afternoon or early evening and arrive in Paris around 8 - 9 am. We go to our apt or hotel, unpack, eat lunch, and take a nap or no more than two hours. We force ourselves up and go out into the light. We eat dinner at 8 pm and then walk back to the hotel and crash. We also force ourselves to stay in bed that night even if awakening during the night.
On our return to LA, we leave CDG in the middle of the day and we arrive early evening and go directly to bed.
This NO JET LAG is not expensive and to use.

Anonymous said...

I always find it tougher to travel east than west. My trick is melatonin which I find in our local co-op; I'm sure it's in health food stores, too. It's naturally produced in our bodies to make us sleepy and it works to reset our circadian rhythms more quickly. Hope you got that nap - sweet dreams!


wcs said...

I find that the best thing is to stay in France. Works every time. :)

Ksam said...

As you know, I fly back and forth quite a bit, and my trick is not to do any adjusting of times at all before or after, but instead to pick the best flight times. Going over, I try to arrive around 6pm in the US, so I have time to unpack a bit and eat dinner before going to bed at my normal time. And then I set my alarm to wake up at my normal time the next day, and then I'm good to go for the rest of the trip.

Coming back, I try to arrive as late as possible in the day so I can do the same - unpack and eat dinner and then go to bed & get up at my regular time.

My main thing is NO NAPPING. Ever. If I give in to a nap, I am screwed for the next week or so.

On the rare occasions where I have to take an early flight or I have to work straightaway the next day coming back from the US, I will take Nyquil or Benadryl not long after boarding so I make sure to get a good night's sleep.

Anonymous said...

Just keep walking. Walk for an hour before you go to the airport, walk while you'e waiting for the plane, walk at your destination for as long as you can stay awake. I do drink alcohol on the flight..

Liza in Ann Arbor said...

Ugh! I used to suffer terribly for days, especially when I led student tours in Spain and France. Now my method is "know I will suffer but take no nap!" Daylight and activity are great combatants. Wine don't hurt either. Then early to bed.

Ann Mah said...

I don't have any solutions (but fascinating to read the comments here). I say sleep when you can (once I came back to Paris from Los Angeles; it was the dead of winter and I didn't sleep for a WEEK). Also, exercise sometimes helps. Welcome home!

Janet said...

I don't think there is anything to fix jet-lag. I heard that it takes a day for every hour difference. It's funny, I never have jet-lag flying east, only when I fly west.

Anonymous said...

2 advil pm on the night flight to Paris and two each night for two nights when you arrive and when you return. I work abroad and do this to stay awke for three day conferences. It doesnt make me feel druged, as I feared. If you wake at 3am after taking advil pm in France on your first night, you need to sleep if you can first and then take two when you wake in middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

Last comment was from Jill!

puppyfur said...

As a former flight attendant and an ex-pat, I find flying east to be the worst. Most people do, as you're losing so many hours. I still take a nap the minute I get home, and unpacking usually waits til the next day. But there is no cure that I know of, nor any of my flight attendant friends! I think if somebody came up with a cure they could become wealthy overnight. :-)

Loulou in France said...

Thanks for the good advice everyone! I've made notes and the next time I fly to the US I'll be trying some different things.

Walter - Love it! :)