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Old 03-11-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
lgajohnson
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Fighting off jet lag

We are traveling to Barcelona for the Med cruise this summer. We are traveling from Boston to Frankfurt (leaving at 4:30pm) and then on to Barcelona. We have the same connection on the way home leaving Barcelona at 12:30pm. I will be traveling with 2 children who will be 12 and 7.

Any tips, pointers, suggestions, meds/non-meds that will help us get through the jet lag?

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgajohnson View Post
We are traveling to Barcelona for the Med cruise this summer. We are traveling from Boston to Frankfurt (leaving at 4:30pm) and then on to Barcelona. We have the same connection on the way home leaving Barcelona at 12:30pm. I will be traveling with 2 children who will be 12 and 7.

Any tips, pointers, suggestions, meds/non-meds that will help us get through the jet lag?

Thanks!
eat something small every 2-3 hours after your usual time to go to sleep. The goal is to make it to the new bedtime before going to bed. Drink a lot of fluids. Having to run to the bathroom frequently keeps you awake and hydrated. If possible, sleep a good 8 hours the first night. If that works, try the snacking thing again a second day. If you wake up in the middle of the night because that is your normal time back home, don't get frustrated. After the initial rush, things will switch over to the new time.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Keep hydrated -- very important! Try not to nap the first day -- stay busy and go to sleep at your normal hour. We found we were able to push through the first day on very little sleep. We did, however, have a rough night falling asleep our second night in Barcelona, but the jet lag wasn't horrible. Coming home we felt it much more - but that was okay because we were home and had a couple of days to relax before having to get back to our regular routines.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:10 PM   #4
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Eat very well for the first couple of days--lots of fresh fruits, salad, and lean proteins and minimal sweets and rich foods. Stop caffeine the day before your flight and don't have any while flying.

Keep gently active after you land--lots of leisurely walking--and drink lots of water. Stay outdoors as much as possible to help your body adjust to the local light/dark cycle.

On the day you arrive do your best to stay up to as close to your normal bedtime as possible. Hopefully by then you'll be good and tired and will sleep like a log until morning. Open your hotel drapes around your normal waking time so your body can use the natural light as a cue. Have a nice breakfast the next morning (eggs and fresh fruit work well for me) with a great cup of coffee.

If I follow that, I usually feel pretty good that next morning after the caffeine hits. Hope you have a fantastic trip!
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #5
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I find this most interesting as we will be flying direct NYC to Honolulu next month essentially across 6 time zones just like Europe. I have no prior experience with jet lag but I can tell you I don't even like switching to Daylight Savings Time, which I am feeling today!


Is it worse / harder to adjust heading west or east?

Going we have an 11 hour flight landing at 3pm HI time (9pm body clock time)

On the return it is a 9hr flight 3pm departure, 7am next day arrival (approx midnight previous day body clock) ... and it will be back to work and school the following morning
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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If you can go the day before your cruise...do it. The first day you may be too tired to have fun. Try to sleep on the plane on the way there. It's hard to do in coach though. Once you get to Barcelona walk around, get some sun. Stay up until the usual time you would go to bed at home.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
pearlieq
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Is it worse / harder to adjust heading west or east?
Personally, I find adjusting going west SO much better than going east.

If I'm not careful, I can be a zombie for days going east--an awful, always-tired, walking through a wall of Jello kind of feeling. The most that ever happens to me coming back west is that I wake up an hour or two early, bright-eyed and bushy tailed!
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pearlieq

Personally, I find adjusting going west SO much better than going east.

If I'm not careful, I can be a zombie for days going east--an awful, always-tired, walking through a wall of Jello kind of feeling. The most that ever happens to me coming back west is that I wake up an hour or two early, bright-eyed and bushy tailed!
That's what I'm afraid of. Coming back (west) I'm basically "losing" 6 hrs that I would have been sleeping.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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That's what I'm afraid of. Coming back (west) I'm basically "losing" 6 hrs that I would have been sleeping.
I've done it a few times and I've learned to give myself a couple of days back home to adjust before trying to go to work. When you fly to Europe you do it at night and its a little easier to sleep. Coming back you usually leave in the day and arrive in the day making it very hard to sleep. The last time I went with the layover it was a 20 hour journey home and I didn't sleep at all. When I got home it was about 5 pm so I didn't want to crawl right into bed and be wide awake at 3 am so I stayed up until about 8 or 9. I felt like a zombie for a couple of days.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Jet Lag Does NOT Like SUNLIGHT.

When you get to BCN, drop your bags off at the hotel and go outside and stay up as late as possible. You're dog tired that first day/night but it really helps you to adjust to local time easier. I also try to rest / sleep on the flight.

Here is a page out of Rick Steves book - literally ...
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #11
lgajohnson
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Thanks for all the tips...great ideas!


Any other tips especially for children?
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #12
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That's what I'm afraid of. Coming back (west) I'm basically "losing" 6 hrs that I would have been sleeping.
]
I feel your pain! But for a trip to Hawaii it is worth it! We went in 04 and the trip back was brutal, basically we were up all night, we got to Dallas as the sun was rising and to us it was 2AM, then we had to get to FL. We are going again in Sept and our trip home will be 18 hours. (Free airfare so we have to go according to the airline schedule ) We will get home at the equivalent of 6AM on our body time so we are coming home a day early to get caught up before work on Monday.

I look forward to reading all these tips as anything that will help is well worth it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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Another tip is to do you best to avoid thoughts like "it would be such and such time at home".
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #14
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bump
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:53 AM   #15
Lori1960
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jet leg

eatting carrots 4 days before you fly and no soda or caffine the day you fly and after you land take something with vitamin b12 and don't take a nap walk out in the sunshine
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