A Conversation for Jet Lag

This works for me

Post 1

Sho - gainfully employed again

Just stay awake. Whatever time you leave, fly, arrive, stay awake. Then when it's "bedtime" wherever you are, go to bed. Probably you won't want to sleep if you've gone west-east during the daytime, but relax, read, watch tv etc. Then get up when it's getting up time, no matter how tired you feel. The next night, you go to bed and are so tired you sleep. Try not to take more than 8 hours sleep.
The same goes for coming back (especially east-west). I usually end up having one mammoth day each trip, and it's usually the day I leave to go home. Then when you get home, do the same thing, go to bed at bedtime, and make sure you don't take more than 8 hours sleep. (this is helped greatly if you have small kids and/or a cat or three)

Using this method I usually manage to avoid falling asleep at awkward moments (meetings, presentations, dinner) and people who know I've been away are astounded that I'm not half asleep in the office and jogging round the garden in the middle of the night.

It doesn't work for everyone, however. I've found (during a straw poll of friends/colleagues/family) that anyone who has worked shifts and/or been in the military (where you learn to get a deep 5 minute sleep standing up if necessary) fare better with this programme than others.

This works for me

Post 2


I seem to be completely unable to sleep on planes. The one exception was an overnight flight from Singapore to Tokyo (8hrs flight, only 1 hour time difference, so you need to get some sleep somewhere, but I felt even worse than the flight out to Singapore!).

Generally, I arrange to fly eastwards overnight (to arrive in the morning) and westwards so I will arrive in the evening. Pretty much what is described in the article. But what I don't do is sleep either way. Still more or less seems to work out as long as I can stay awake until something approaching a normal bed time.

One of the worst things is arriving in NY (from London) on one of the later flights. You land about 9pm and get to the hotel about 11pm. If you find, as has happened to me sometimes, that the hotel has screwed up, you're just too tired to deal with it. My tip is to get the flight that arrives about 7pm, get to hotel 9pm (handle crisis), grab a smiley - ale in the bar and then to bed.

The hardest I ever did was the 13 hrs to Tokyo (arrive about 7am). Shower, straight to office. Left office at around 5pm. Went to Roppongi. Still drinking at 3am. Now that really took it out of me! Good fun, though. smiley - smiley

This works for me

Post 3

Miss Archy

It's easy to develop an immunity for jet lag - just become an architecture student smiley - smiley (I pulled 35 hours straight, ending at 2 this morning) smiley - bigeyes

...but I wouldn't necessarily suggest it.

This works for me

Post 4

Monsignore Pizzafunghi Bosselese

err, does that mean you worked 35 hours straight or you drank 35 hours straight? smiley - smiley

This works for me

Post 5

Miss Archy

lol I was working all that time...well, except for the occasional food break. (I don't drink) smiley - smiley

This works for me

Post 6

Monsignore Pizzafunghi Bosselese

I had to do 2 days in succession to (once, long ago). Well I had the eyes open, but you couldn't tell I was 'awake'. Just able to move around and look weirdly at people. Some weeks of shift working showed me quickly that this was not my kind of stuff either, I slept all the time in between, without becoming recreated.
It depends also on one's blood pressure, I think.

This works for me

Post 7

Gavin Orr

I can't resist the free booze and back to back movies on long flights so all the sensible things to do are out for me.

Trying to set your body clock to the destination time zone from the moment you step on the plane is best for me, combined with getting to your destination a day before you need to (if you can), staying up until it is "almost bedtime" or going to bed even if you are not tired seem to work.

I used to work shifts so didn't feel uncomfortable being tired in the middle of the day and was also able to work through it, although if you need to be awake for that meeting, you need get the adjustment finished before the meeting starts.

The worst trips are those where you arrive at the same time on the clock as you left, after having travelled for what seems like days. Sydney through LA to Minneapolis was the worst for me - you leave early evening on the Saturday, fly for 17 hours, then arrive at your destination early evening on the Saturday - mind blowing. Of course the trip back is worse - having "gained a day" on the way there you at least have that day to recover, but coming back you leave on the Friday evening and all of Saturday just disappears, by the time you have adjusted, Sunday is over too and it's back to work!

smiley - run try bookcrossing.

This works for me

Post 8


I seem to find it affects me less as I get older. I remember travelling to the West coast of Canada from the UK when I was in my early 20's and falling asleep in my dinner for at least the first 2 days. Also, I found it to be quite useful when travelling West as a tourist - I'd wake up at 4am, bright as a button and then slowly get up, have breakfast and head out to see the sights before anyone else.

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