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Overseas travel and sleep?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 24, 2010 at 9:47 PM

I am traveling overseas for 5 days and will have a one day layover in Europe. My destination will be a 7 hour time difference. I have always had trouble sleeping on a plane and don't want to get to screwed up with my sleep. Not too worried about staying paleo re: food, but the sleep concerns me, especially on the plane. Any recommendations?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:01 PM

yeah I'd say fast on the plane or at least bring your own food

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on December 25, 2010
at 09:21 AM

I walk on with at least a liter so for most of the flight I don't have to wait for the attendants or be woken up by them. But then also take whatever I can get from them.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 25, 2010
at 02:30 AM

Absolutely agree on staying hydrated. #1 priority. I ask for tons of water on the flight. I don't care if I am annoying.

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3 Answers

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B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on December 24, 2010
at 11:30 PM

I've made the journey across the pond a few times and have yet to have jet-lag.
Either very lucky or I have a decent protocol.

For going east on an overnight flight:

  1. Stay hydrated. Seriously!
  2. Preset sleep patterns for the time change: Go to bed earlier the night before or multiple nights before if possible. And rise earlier.
  3. Fast! Don't eat on the flight, and give your system a rest for well into the day of arrival. Sometimes I'll take a bit of carbs to help trigger sleep on the plane (had some sweet potato with me for my last trip). But I didn't eat anything else. Remember it's probably 2am where you are headed. Would you normally be eating then?
  4. Find a way to at least get some rest. Maybe not a full sleep but some small naps. If you don't bring one of those neck pillows, rig one with the airline blanket. Tie like a scarf but with a big double knot to rest your chin/head on. Or you can try Gokhale's technique.
  5. Try melatonin to help reset your internal clock. Might want to test it before leaving in case it affects you differently.
  6. Exposure to sunlight upon arrival and spend as much time outside as possible. London doesn't always provide this.
  7. Avoid caffeine completely, or only take in the afternoon. Sometimes I'll have a caffeine nap in the afternoon (2-5ish).

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 25, 2010
at 02:30 AM

Absolutely agree on staying hydrated. #1 priority. I ask for tons of water on the flight. I don't care if I am annoying.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on December 25, 2010
at 09:21 AM

I walk on with at least a liter so for most of the flight I don't have to wait for the attendants or be woken up by them. But then also take whatever I can get from them.

0
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on December 25, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Fasting during the flight until the first breakfast at the new local time has been shown to prevent jet-lag. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7414437.stm

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:01 PM

yeah I'd say fast on the plane or at least bring your own food

0
Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on December 24, 2010
at 10:19 PM

When you arrive, just try to spend as much time outside as you can during daylight hours. The exposure to sunlight will help you adjust quickly. I used to travel to London a lot, before having children, and that always helped me to adjust quickly.

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