August 27, 2015

How to deal with jet lag

Traveling between multiple zones is fun and exciting but it also can be very taxing on your body.  For some people the east to west coast time zone change is more difficult than going from west to east. As I have recently gone through 7 hours of time change east to west, this is clearly my area to struggle to get my body clock back on track.

Coping tips:

* Try not to sleep on the airplane if you are taking a daytime flight.  While an eight hour flight or longer is generally pretty boring, you will be able to get back to your normal sleep patterns easier if you stay awake. I watched 4 movies on our flight back from London to Charlotte.  Obviously this is a bit mind numbing, but it is better than laying awake for hours in your bed at home wishing you could go to sleep.

*  Avoid caffeine:  Most of us love our coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages such as sodas, but if you must have them, try the decaffeinated version.  Any extra caffeine will disrupt your body rhythm even further

* Shut down computers and I-Pads:  While I normally try to log off and relax at least an hour before bedtime, I have been known to check my email messages minutes before going to bed.  When you have a jet lagged body, it is really important to shut everything down and relax as much as possible before trying to go to sleep.

*  Sleep Aids:  There are many theories about whether this is a good idea or not.  Personally I like to take a Benedryl before a long overnight flight, but plenty of people I know take Ambien.  Ask your doctor what they recommend before you decide to take any type of sleep aid medication.

*  Stay up until your normal bedtime: Last night both Tom and I were asleep in front of the television before 9:00 pm.  This was not planned nor did it help us sleep through the night. The sooner you get back to your normal bedtime, the faster your body will go back to it's normal patterns. Sometimes this is easier said than done!

* Give yourself a few days of rest before attempting hard workouts.  I made the mistake of trying to run 6 miles yesterday after a round of golf.  And I tried to run in the middle of the day when it was hot and humid.  It did not go well and I quit after 4 miles.

a hot mess but smiling anyway

*  Now is the time to get back on track with healthy eating if you had some cheat meals while on vacation.  We are eating simple meals at the moment and very little processed foods to try to give our bodies a chance to recover from some delicious vacation eating and drinking! Healthy eating and drinking also helps with better sleep.

What tips do you have for recovering after a multiple time zone change?
(Pam)

24 comments:

  1. You guys must be the champions of avoid jet lag, especially for traveling to races! I deal more with adrenaline let down in the aftermath--not so much jet lag but a wearing off of the emotions of a trip.
    I think my hubs deals with jet lag, but as a doctor working hilarious hours!
    And thank you for the Boston reminder today! COMMENCE WEBSITE STALKING

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    1. Yay for stalking the B.A.A website. Yes, jet lag is something to contend with when traveling to races, but I can imagine your husband must struggle daily with his medical training!

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  2. Great tips! I try to book long flights for overnight so I can sleep and then force myself to stay up once I land until a reasonable sleeping time. That generally works for me getting used to the new time zone pretty fast. I have a harder time if I have a long day time flight as I do always tend to fall asleep on the flights.

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    1. I also do well on the overnight flights, but the daytime flights from east to west are the ones that I find most difficult. Watching mind numbing movies just to stay awake is never much fun and I waiting up at 3 am instead of 7 am is also not a treat!

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  3. Jet lag is the worst! But I can NOT sleep on an airplane, no matter how hard I try, so that's the only thing that works in my favor, haha. Thanks for the tips! :)

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    1. Wow, I cannot imagine not being able to sleep at all on the overnight flights. I would be a total zombie upon arrival. I'm lucky becauseI can fall asleep practically when the plane door is closed.

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  4. I try to just keep to whatever time zone I happen to be in. Even at home, though, I do give myself the opportunity to take a nap if I'm tired. I had to laugh at you falling asleep at 9pm. That's actually my bedtime, although I tend to putter around or read and don't actually end up in bed with the light off until about 9:30. I'm glad you're back, though. I've missed reading your posts!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. We are not blogging as much now, but still try to post when we have something to say!

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  5. Avoiding caffeine is the worst, but definitely helps! I tend to try to fly at night, which means the first day is usually a wash. But if I push through to that night and crash, I tend to acclimate to the local time so much quicker and better!

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    1. Yes, flying at night is easier than the flights overseas during the day. However, sleeping a long time on the plane is hit or miss for me.

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  6. I am the worst about sleeping through the entire flight.

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  7. Jet lag is definitely not fun! I had that last summer when we flew home from California.

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    1. Yes, it is not fun. I usually don't get it going coast to coast though.

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  8. These tips are so great! My husband and I are going on our belated honeymoon in October and this will be so helpful!

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    1. Oh, have a fantastic honeymoon. I hope you are going to a fantastic location.

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  9. I really struggle going from west coast to east coast. It took me a few days to get back into it after being in Washington state. Welcome back to the east coast :)

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    1. Thanks Courtney. It does seem that some struggle east to west, and others west to east.

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  10. Great tips! Altho my next destination race is in California in the spring. I think it will be ok going west from here. It's coming home that will throw me off!

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    1. It's not that many hours time change so hopefully you will not be affected too much.

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  11. I had the hardest time with jet lag coming back from Paris which I thought was weird...I always thought is was supposed to be easier coming back?!

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    1. No, I think for most people travelling ease to west is harder. I never struggle going to Europe, but coming home is always difficult.

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  12. Great tips! I also try to stay awake when I fly back E to W as well. I've been trying to eat better since I've been back, I definitely indulged while I was away :)

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  13. Yes, great tips! I've traveled a lot, but I think the most time difference I had was 4 hours, but I oddly never got jet lag. I think it's because of my epstein barr, and my ability to sleep anytime, anywhere I think that helps me, at least so far. If I ever make it to Austrailia, I might say different, LOL

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