12 hour jetlag strategy
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Jul 8, 2012 3:16 AM Last Post By: amerimex
Jun 29, 2012 7:38 AM
12 hour jetlag strategyMy husband and I are having a bet. We leave for Thailand on Monday from Chicago and there is 12 hours difference. In an effort to minimize our jetlag, we have different philosophies we are following.
His strategy is to wake up really late (of course) and go to bed really late.
My strategy is to go to bed early and wake up late.
Which do you all think is better? Does it not matter since the schedule is flipped anyway? Which one lessons the blow?
Jun 29, 2012 9:01 AM
Jun 29, 2012 9:23 AM
Jun 29, 2012 9:25 AM
3Every individual reacts differently to jetlag and unfortunately what works for one does not work for another. It's exactly the same as shift-work so if either of you have done that before you will know what works best for you. Google is your friend, there are 101 so called "remedies" and generally speaking it takes a day per time-zone to completely recover. In practice this is obviously not feasible and in your case I would suggest agreeing on a method otherwise you're going to spend alot of your holiday alone !! I personally adopt the local time-zone arriving East and stay awake as long as I can arriving West but I react positively to sunlight (not everyone does) and that makes it alot easier.
Jun 29, 2012 10:21 AM
4Depends what time of day you arrive. If you arrive late in the day try to sleep fairly soon and through the night. If you arrive early in the day try to stay up until night time then crash. Within reason your body can do without 24 hours of sleep, but best to focus on synching with local time asap. After a long-haul flight you'll also be dehydrated so a litre of water before you sleep even if it means a wee-hours piss (and a litre after you wake up) is helpful. Sorry if that doesn't help you settle the bet - variables apply.
Jun 29, 2012 1:55 PM
5The flights from Chicago usually arrive at 11:30PM or so. I fly out of Chicago all the time and here is my strategy:
Stay up all night the night before the flight. If your flight is anytime between 9:00AM-2:00PM.... just get on the plane and sleep. The flight takes about 12+ hours. Sleep as long as you can and after waking up... don't sleep again till you get to Bangkok. You'll arrive in Bangkok and be in your hotel room at night and fall right asleep.
Works every time.
Jun 29, 2012 2:15 PM
6Jet lag is mostly imaginary. If you arrive in the morning you go about your day as usual and go to bed at your usual time. If you arrive late in the evening you go straight to bed and get up at your usual time.
All the remedies out there are absolute nonsense, and you would do just as well taking a sugar pill. There's no way to make up for lost sleep, and no way to trick your body to think it had sleep. It's like trying to catch up on your sleep on the weekends - it simply can't be done. The only thing to do is stick with your regular routine. At worst you feel a bit groggy the first day until you sleep. Once you've had a full night's sleep then your body has no idea that it's in a different time zone. Your head does, but your body doesn't. Purely psychosomatic.
Alternatively you can subscribe to nonsense like "it takes a day per time-zone to completely recover" and wring your hands for days and days as you obsess over how jet-lagged you are. Your choice.
Jun 29, 2012 2:17 PM
7I laugh at people who will fly somewhere where there is a 2 or 3 hour time difference and complain about jet lag. Yet that same person will go to bed at 10pm weekdays and 1am weekends. 3 hours difference, yet mysteriously they don't suffer from jet lag every weekend. So why would traveling to a different time zone be any different?
Jun 29, 2012 3:05 PM
Well JJ, that puts the kibosh on years of meaningful research into circadian dysrhythmia! Boom boom - it's all nonsense! After my 20+ years walking the night aisles dispensing smiles and whisky I can tell you it's YOU who are talking absolute nonsense!
FCG has it right - it affects different people different ways and one strategy doesn't fit all.
If it's a day arrival, I stay up, get lots of sunlight and fluids. I crash early if it's an evening arrival and sleep through. Importantly, Amerimex, as pointed out - you do both need to try the same thing or you'll be spending too long alone!
Jun 29, 2012 3:20 PM
9^to each his own BBB. I've never suffered from jet lag in my life, neither have most of my friends. If you believe you have jet lag you do have it. If you don't believe you have jet lag you don't have it.
By the same token I can feel a little tickle in my throat and convince myself I'm sick. I can wrap myself up in a blanket and rest in bed, taking all sorts of over-the-counter medication to make me feel better. And yes I will be truly sick. A fever may develop, sinuses will get stuffed up etc. The sicker I think I am the sicker I will feel. It's a direct correlation.
Or, I can ignore the tickle, put it completely out of my mind and get on with my day. I'll soon forget all about that tickle, I won't develop a cold, and I won't feel terrible. No fever will develop and no stuffy sinuses. In other words I won't get sick.
The power of the mind is quite remarkable. While it can't cure cancer or heart disease, it can make short work of pesky little annoyances such as so-called jet lag and the common cold. I've never experienced either. Ever. So don't knock it until you've tried it.
Jun 29, 2012 3:51 PM
10If I go to Australia where theres only 3 hrs difference, i fall asleep every night for at least a week at 8.30pm and wake up hours earlier than usual. By the time my body adjusts, its time to return home then at night, its hours after usual bed time before I eventually drop off. Last trip I found an otc sleep aid helped me stabilize my sleep patterns.
Jun 29, 2012 4:07 PM
11So westwood we have to then assume that you go to bed at the exact same time and get up at the exact same time seven days a week at home, correct? If that's the case then I can certainly see why shifting your schedule by 3 hours would interupt your sleep cycle.
If however you normally go to bed at varying times and get up at varying times, then it's not jet lag you are suffering from.
Jun 29, 2012 4:17 PM
12We do the Sydney-London trip fairly regularly and have done for years. It's about 40 hours door-to-door travel for us and has a 9 hour time change. What seems to work best for us is to just go about your day like normal before leaving, have 'down time' in the plane, then go about your day like normal in the new time zone when you land (even if it feels really weird). Only sleep if it's dark and therefore the 'normal' time, no matter what your body tells you. You'll have just had hours of 'down-time' on the plane so you won't really be all that physically tired. You can trick your brain. It helps if you're reasonably well rested before leaving, though. It isn't always pleasant but it's doable and you're more likely to fit straight into the new time zone the next day.
Also, on the flight, 'trust' the flight crew. If the cabin lights are dimmed and you're asked to keep the blinds down (even in what seems like broad daylight), sleeping at that time will help. If the cabin's kept bright, then don't sleep. It's a indicator of when to make the more minor changes to your rhythm while en route.
I'm sure some people do suffer from jet lag really badly, but for most of people, I do think it's a bit over-rated. Think about all those flight crews who change time zones every 2 days yet still go on functioning efficiently... Once you find what works for you, remember it and stick with it.
Jun 29, 2012 7:52 PM
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