Monday, November 07, 2005

Jet lag..

Jet lag. I usually don’t get it – but this last trip, I did. Part way through the first week (on Thursday night) – I woke up at 00:04 – for those of us in the US that is 12:04am. I was awake until 04:30-ish (got to read a bit…). That after going to bed at 23:00 (11pm for those of us in the US again…). That was a bad day on Friday with just a couple of hours of sleep. That night I was asleep by 21:00 (9pm) and did not get out of bed the next day until 10:00. I have not slept that long since before college. Felt good in a decadent sort of way.

Now that I’m back though – tired at night isn’t the word for it. We went to a football game last night. (no, not soccer, regular football – American style, Eagles vs Redskins). I fell asleep at the game for a while. Can you imagine falling asleep in a stadium with thousands of people yelling and jumping around… Woke up when my daughter Megan saw me and pointed it out.

Tonight – I’m throwing the towel in early. There are questions in the queue – but you know what… I’ll have to look at them tomorrow. Right now, I’m just too tired.

Let’s see what going to Edmonton Canada and then San Francisco does to me tomorrow. Should be interesting to get into the west time zones…

The worst adjustment I ever had – Australia, on the way back home. That was ten years ago – but I still remember getting up in the middle of the night and saying “ok, sleep is over, what now….”

So, how do others deal with it? When going east (losing time) I try to make sure to sleep on the plane (I can sleep anywhere – even stadiums with lots of noise). Stay up the next day and just “get into the time zone”. When going west (gaining time) I usually don’t have any problem – just go to bed on time and get up earlier than usual. This time though – something didn’t work right.


Blogger Aman Sharma said....

Hope you will be fine Sir.Have complete rest and proper sleep,its very important.Was smiling just now to see that Sir can get tired too at times,so sorry!SLept in stadium:-O..
have a safe journey.

Mon Nov 07, 09:26:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Colin said....

Do what we did in 'college' (or 'uni' to me), play some really exciting, stimulating computer games until reach the time you want to sleep!

(But if you are so engrossed and addicted to it that you cannot stop, well, that is another topic!)


Mon Nov 07, 09:30:00 PM EST  

Blogger Rachel said....

I don't sleep well on planes (especially not in coach!) so that option isn't there.

I've been told it takes a day for every hour of time change for the body to adjust. I just try to get to bed early if I'm going West and try to stay up a little longer than my "tired time" tells me to when I'm going East.

And there's always various and assorted versions of caffeine to keep me awake when necessary :)

Mon Nov 07, 09:31:00 PM EST  

Blogger melanie caffrey said....

Besides definitely trying to sleep on the plane as much as possible, I try to see if I can arrive a couple of days (not THE day before), but a COUPLE OF DAYS before the event I need to attend or speak at.

The moment I get there I go to bed.

That may mean I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning, but I try to go back to sleep as soon as possible and not wake back up until 5 or 6 a.m.

If I can do that on the first day I arrive in town, I'm usually alright for the rest of the time period.

Of course, I did not do this at *any* time this year, and I really felt it.

Mon Nov 07, 10:36:00 PM EST  

Blogger Connor McDonald said....

Connor's recipe for jet lag :-)

Day 1 - must force yourself to local time zone. You might get into the place at 2pm and be shattered, but you have to hang on to (say) 8pm before going to sleep. Lots of fluids before going to bed

Day 2 - often harder than Day 1. This is because Day 1 you're so tired you could sleep anywhere. Day 2 is where the "real" lag can kick in and leave you wide awake at 2am. For me, some exercise and a good meal late in the day to help the transition into sleep. Lots of fluids before going to bed

Day 3 - Lots of fluids

Day 4 - you're done!

Medics reckon internally your body needs around 1 day per hour time difference to fully get back to normal

Tue Nov 08, 12:56:00 AM EST  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

I've never had much problem heading East, as long as I get an hour or two of sleep. That's usually on a flight that leaves Denver around 8pm and arrives in Heathrow around (local) lunchtime. I've always been partial to a little nap in the afternoon anyway and when travelling I can pass it off as a medical necessity :D

Travelling West is a different kettle of fish. The worst experience is arriving in Denver at 9pm (something like 5am European time) and having to go through Immigration, baggage claim, then drive 90 miles home with a van full of snoring familial units, then getting home to find the kids are now all frisky and wide-awake at midnight.


Tue Nov 08, 01:18:00 AM EST  

Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

When I went to Australia a few years ago I slept on the plan most of the way there and didn't have a hard time adjusting. After being there a month, I didn't sleep at all on the way back and was messed up for at least a week.

Tue Nov 08, 07:02:00 AM EST  

Blogger Tony said....

Some suggest shinning a flashlight to the back of the knee to reset your internal clock. Others don't. Never thought to try it myself.

Tue Nov 08, 07:23:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Your Redskins are doing pretty well this year. They really should consider a name change though....

Tue Nov 08, 08:35:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Ric said....

they certainly are - better than my Raiders anyway


Tue Nov 08, 08:51:00 AM EST  

Blogger shrek said....

i must be one of the lucky ones... taking off means i go to sleep. even in coach seats.;-) unless i get one of those chatty people sitting next to me.

Tue Nov 08, 09:02:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Funny thing is - we were at the football game for the Eagles - not the Redskins ;)

Tue Nov 08, 11:26:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

That was a pretty big game, I can't beilieve you feel asleep. You're lucky no cameras caught you and put you up on the big screen.


Tue Nov 08, 11:59:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I can't sleep with noise and light around me, so one of the best investments I made was for earplugs and a nice eye-cover.
Now I just have to figure out how to keep my daughter from waking me up...

Tue Nov 08, 12:24:00 PM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Two major things to do:

1. Work under bright lights with the schedule you will be using after travelling. Wear sunglasses and dim lights at times you will be sleeping.

2. Adjust mealtimes along with lights. Those early AM "Hey! Time to get up and hunt!" are from your liver turning on and dumping sugar into your blood. Eat less carbs and sugar.

Also, use _less_ caffeine and sleep more than you think you will need. If you can.

And you thought you knew what an SCN is :-)


Tue Nov 08, 01:11:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

How do you convert between various time zones? Do you have a watch or a program?

Tue Nov 08, 01:39:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Your an eagles fan? I thought you posted somewhere that you followed the Redskins?

Tue Nov 08, 03:14:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

This is one of the most important aspects of combating jet lag. Before departing, make sure you have all your affairs, business and personal, in order. Ensure you are not stressed-out with excitement or worry, and not tired or hungover from a function the night before. Get plenty of exercise in the days prior to departure and try to avoid sickness such as the flu, colds and so on. If you have a cold, flying will probably make it worse - ideally you should delay the trip. Get a good night's sleep just prior to departure.

East or west?
There is much debate about whether it is better to fly eastward or westward. It may be largely a matter of personal preference, but there is some evidence that flying westwards causes less jet lag than flying eastwards.

Night or day flight?
Again it is largely a matter of personal preference based on experience. Most travelers think daytime flights cause less jet lag. We note that more daytime long haul flights are being added by major airlines.

Drinking fluids
The dry air in aircraft causes dehydration. Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids counters this. Water is better than coffee, tea and fruit juices. Alcohol not only is useless in combating dehydration, but has a markedly greater intoxicating effect when drunk in the rarefied atmosphere of an airliner than it does at ground level.

Sleeping aids
Blindfolds, ear plugs, neckrests and blow-up pillows are all useful in helping you get quality sleep while flying. Kick your shoes off to ease pressure on the feet (some airlines provide soft sock-like slippers, and many experienced travellers carry their own).

Get as much exercise as you can. Walking up and down the aisle, standing for spells, and doing small twisting and stretching exercises in your seat all help to reduce discomfort, especially swelling of legs and feet. Get off the plane if possible at stopovers, and do some exercises or take a walk. This also helps to reduce the possibility of blood clots and associated trauma.

During extended stopovers on a longhaul flight, showers are sometimes available. A shower not only freshens you up but gets the muscles and circulation going again and makes you feel much better for the rest of the flight. Trans-Pacific pilots have told us taking a shower in Hawaii helps them recover more quickly from the general effects of jet lag after the flight.

This is a safe and effective remedy for countering jet lag, in the form of easy-to-take tablets. Its effectiveness has been proved in a scientific trial of round-the-world passengers and confirmed by longhaul flight attendants in a test conducted in cooperation with their union. Being a homeopathic preparation using extremely low dosages, No-Jet-Lag has no side effects and is compatible with other medications. It has no connection with the controversial hormone melatonin. For more information and citation on No-Jet-Lag click here for details. No-Jet-Lag is available worldwide by mail order, and is sold at outlets such as international airports, pharmacies and travel stores in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Click here to order No-Jet-Lag online from Magellan's.

This is a controversial and complex treatment for jet lag involving the manipulation of a hormone in the body, starting in the days preceding travel. Research shows that if you miscalculate the right time to take it, melatonin will actually make jet lag worse! And for research that casts doubt on whether melatonin does counter jet lag click here.

Anti jet lag diet
Another complicated method is the anti jet lag diet. Like melatonin, this is for people with lots of time on their hands who can devote several days before and after a trip to preparing. Although it has some passionate devotees it is complicated and there is little evidence that it works. If you're interested, click here for jet lag diet information

Sleeping pills (don't!)
Some people use sleeping tablets to try to alleviate jet lag. This is a dangerous approach as sleeping pills induce a comatose state with little or no natural body movement, and it is well known that prolonged immobility during flight can lead to fatal blood clots (deep vein thrombosis). This was reported as far back as 1988 in the Lancet, which said it was estimated "that over three years at Heathrow Airport, 18% of the 61 sudden deaths in long distance passengers were caused by clots in the lungs." Picture the leg veins as bags of blood. When this blood doesn't circulate there is a risk that it will clot. In addition, many so-called sleeping pills are variants on anti-histamines and they tend to dehydrate significantly, adding to the already significant problem of in-flight dehydration.

Tue Nov 08, 04:58:00 PM EST  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

>> Being a homeopathic preparation using extremely low dosages, No-Jet-Lag has no side effects and is compatible with other medications.<<

Indeed, being homeopathic it'll have nothing but placebo and wallet lightening effects. I can't believe that people believe that nonsense, let alone spend money on it.

Of course "anonymous" might disagree, and could help us by giving references to any double-blind peer-reviewed studies that support these ludicrous claims.

Tue Nov 08, 05:28:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

How do you convert between various time zones?

My treo comes in handy (phone)... It usually adjusts all by itself but there is a world clock built into it as well for when it does not.

Tue Nov 08, 06:09:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I thought you posted somewhere that you followed the Redskins?

Nope, don't really follow any of them - the kids follow the eagles cause their Uncle Joe is a big eagles fan... So, we root for the eagles.

Tue Nov 08, 06:14:00 PM EST  

Blogger Noons said....

Actually when I have to travel to Europe, it's 11 hours timezone diff and 24 travel time West, then it's another lot like that but Eastbound for the return...

Usually after the first 7 hours I'm ready to open a door and go for a walk on the wings!

So what I do is take the most boring books I can find, get myself into destination timezone BEFORE I start the flight and pick a route that lets me do the longest haul section at night of the target timezone.

Works reasonably well, although my legs still puff up from all the time sitting down.

When I was younger it was easier: I just asked the hostesses to put a glass of beer next to me and keep it full, no matter what the time was. I simply slept all the way through.

Old bones won't cope with that nowadays.

Tue Nov 08, 11:30:00 PM EST  

Blogger DaPi said....

Some good stuff from Anonymous:

Pre-Flight: YES

Drinking fluids: My rule is to count the booze twice. No spirits and only 1-2 glasses of wine with dinner. Just what you need to help you sleep through the film
- NEVER watch the film!

Excecise: If I can, I always take an aisle seat on long-haul. (Makes chatting up the hostess easier too.)

iunxi - opne sourec progarmign ?

Wed Nov 09, 03:25:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Roderick said....

Jet lag does not hit me until the second day after I return home. Orange juice and an hour in the sun seems to help. Otherwise I just deal with the disorientation for a few days, though I worry that nobody notices the extra loopiness I display.

Wed Nov 09, 03:33:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Martin said....

Just want to put one thing straight:

Soccer = Regular Football.
American Football = Some other game.


Wed Nov 09, 11:23:00 AM EST  

Anonymous joao said....

I never seem to have trouble going east such as from the US east coast to Europe. Even though I never sleep on plane, it never seems that bad.

One time I did fly from Seattle to Singapore via Tokyo. It was a hell of a long flight. We arrived into Singapore at 2am local time, not knowing what day it was. We checked into a Chinese hotel with no windows in the "Little India" part of town. I remember laying WIDE awake at 3am, bored to death. I was awake but remember rationalizing how midgets could be shot out of a cannon at the circus. It was from a physics point of view. I was completely sober but my mind was damn tired from the flight and confused with the new time zone. I finally got up and walked around Little India until the vendors started to sell their delicious Vada and Idly.

Wed Nov 09, 01:54:00 PM EST  


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