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  1. Maggi
    January 14, 2015 @ 10:23 am


    I have just accepted a long term contract in the Middle East. The time in Doha is 8 hours ahead of my time in Atlanta, GA. I have been jet lagged before flying from ATL to LAX weekly for about 6 months, but I am absolutely exhausted in the afternoon in Doha. it would be between 4am and 8am Atlanta (EST). I am drinking lots of water and getting tons of walking in here. It just seems like I cannot shake the sleepy. When we where here last time (only for a week) I feel asleep one evening at about 5pm Doha time and stayed asleep till about 5am Doha time. After that instance I was “reset” so to speak. What are your thoughts on this subject. Is it ok to do a sleep reset like that?

    • Ali Garland
      January 14, 2015 @ 12:34 pm

      Hi Maggi! Everyone is different, so definitely some people have a much harder time with jet lag. I have definitely had trips where I went to sleep early and slept for a really long time, which did help. You might try that as soon as you arrive. Stay up as late as you can to get close to a normal bedtime, even if the latest you can stay up is only 5pm. Then set your alarm for a reasonable time in the morning so you don’t sleep too late.

      I once had 4 flights to get from Germany to Australia, two of which were redeyes, and a couple of pretty long layovers. I was crazy exhausted when I landed, fell asleep at 2pm and slept until midnight. I stayed up for 4 hours, went back to sleep at 4am and woke up at 8am. I actually wasn’t jet lagged after that. So do whatever works for you even if it’s completely opposite of what the normal jet lag advice is.

  2. Anne
    May 3, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    I’ll be flying from Brisbane to Rome in September and from Rome to Brisbane in December, both with a stop over in Hong Kong. Just wondering roughly how long it would take for me to adjust to the destination time zones coming from both directions?

    Also I have found that even a couple of alcoholic drinks can cause a hangover and drinking water has helped a lot, not that I intend to drink on my long haul flights.

    • Ali Garland
      May 3, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

      Hi Anne, sounds like a great trip! No, don’t drink alcohol. I’ve tried it a few times hoping it would make me drowsy enough to fall asleep, but I still don’t sleep on planes. Alcohol dehydrates you, which makes the jet lag hit worse.

      It’s hard to say how long it will take for you to adjust to the time change. It depends on what time you leave Brisbane, how long your layover is in Hong Kong, and what time you land in Rome. Also depends on how much sleep you’re able to get in flight. I often find the really long journeys like this are so sleep depriving, that when I arrive at my destination I sleep ton and actually get past the jet lag quicker.

      If your flight lands late afternoon or evening, just try to stay up until 8pm or 9pm and then sleep until morning, and hopefully it’ll just take you another day or two to feel back on track. If your flight lands in the morning, it’s a bit more of a struggle, but do your best to stay up all day. It might take a little longer to adjust, but the important thing is to do whatever you can to eat and sleep at normal times once you arrive.

      My last long haul flight was a 13 hour redeye flight from Singapore to Zurich (I live about 2 or so hours from Zurich in Germany) and it was a struggle to stay up all day. I think I caved and had a short nap. But I think it took me about 3 days to feel like I was completely adjusted to the time difference, which is 6 hours.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Mindy and Ligeia
    January 26, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    Hi Ali,
    Great advice, especially the point about dropping stuff off at the hotel and getting back outside if it is still light and drinking lots and lots of water. I have another suggestion, especially if you are flying only a short trip like to western Europe and/or you have to be at a wedding or some other event shortly after you arrive that you must be relatively coherent for. Starting a week before your departure, start slowly adjusting to the new time. Start waking up and going to bed an hour earlier each day and the day you leave you will have woken up in the middle of the night. Since flights from the east coast of N. America leave in the evenings, make sure to stay up until your flight leaves. Once on board, eat your meal, have a glass of wine, skip the movie and fall asleep. This is what helped us stay awake during our friend’s wedding in Norway. 🙂

    • Ali Garland
      January 26, 2013 @ 11:18 am

      That does sound like a helpful way of slowly adjusting to a new time zone. I’m not sure I’d ever have the discipline to do it though! Maybe I’ll try it next time I go somewhere a few time zones away. I’m glad you found something that worked well for going to your friend’s wedding. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jennifer
    September 4, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    I never get jet lag when I am traveling for leisure or on a press trip. But when I travel back to Phoenix from Italy for my full time job, I have suffered horrible jet lag for data on end.

    I think the difference is I’m excited to see the sights when I am on a fun trip. But with work, I generally arrive after 20+ hours of travel and have to be in the office the next day. No matter how exhausted I am and even though I usually arrive in Phoenix at night, I wake up at 2am for the day consistently for at least 7 – 9 days I am there.

    It drives me insane!

    • Ali Garland
      September 5, 2012 @ 10:51 am

      That’s awesome to never get jet lag for a leisure trip! But I can understand that flying from Italy to Arizona is quite a haul and will cause you jet lag no matter what the reason is for going there. Wow, 7-9 days though?! That’s crazy!

  5. Matthew Cheyne
    September 4, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    This is really great advice. My Nanna lives 3,000 miles and two time zones away from me on the other side of Australia in Perth. In the past I’ve found that going back the two hours flying into Perth isn’t a problem. It’s the other way round when you go into the future when you are heading eastwards as in my case returning to Melbourne Airport that is the problem. I seem to be a little disoriented when I come off the plane for a little while when coming back home. Part of it may be the realization that the holiday is over and it’s back to reality.

    I put my hand up as guilty when it comes to consuming alcohol on the plane. My last trip was back in 2006 where I flew on a business class airline called Ozjet between Melbourne and Sydney that only existed for about four months and I think you’ll quickly find out why. Everything and I mean everything was included in the ticket price. I was drinking wine as though it was bottomless because I didn’t have to pay for it. And you’re entirely right Ali – drinking alcohol on a plane doesn’t necessarily make you go to sleep. It does however provide for an epic hangover or in my case an epic headache later on.

    I’m also in agreement with going out and doing things the same day after you’ve found your hotel. I think it does help relieve the jet lag as it seems to take your mind off the fact that you’re in a different time zone to what your brain is used to.

    • Ali Garland
      September 5, 2012 @ 10:50 am

      Thanks Matthew! I prefer flying east to west as opposed to west to east too, at least when it’s shorter distances like from east coast US to west coast US. I think it’s because I’m a night person, so it’s not so hard to just stay up a little later when I arrive on the west coast, but arriving on the east coast means trying to go to bed before I’m tired.

      I’ve definitely had a drink or two on a shorter flight, it’s the longer ones where I avoid it. You’re not really going to have to deal with jet lag with the short distance from Melbourne to Sydney, and you won’t be in the plane long enough to get really dehydrated. And if it’s included, how can you say no? 😉

      • Matthew Cheyne
        September 5, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

        Your right about the lack of jet lag between Melbourne and Sydney. They’re both in the same time zone and only an hour’s flight time from each other so there should be no issues of jet lag for most people. What I don’t like when it comes to flying between Melbourne and Sydney is the 45 minutes you can spend on the tarmac in Melbourne or Sydney waiting for a take off slot. But that could be the subject of another post for you. I know the problem is much worse in the States than it is here.

        • Ali Garland
          September 5, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

          Luckily I have never experienced any of the extreme wait times I’ve heard of from some other people. An hour or so maybe (which certainly is annoying) but not the crazy multi-hour waits I’ve heard about.

  6. Jessica
    September 4, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    Great tips! Particularly the one about water – I’m always completely amazed how much more tired I feel (jetlag or not) when I’m dehydrated.

    • Ali Garland
      September 5, 2012 @ 10:33 am

      Thanks Jessica! Totally true, such an important part of not feeling tired.

    • Sheila McCrea
      April 23, 2016 @ 5:06 pm

      A vitamin the night before keeps me from getting jet lag. And I take one the morning of the flight.

      Jet lag has nothing to do with time zones snd everything to do with your body’s reaction!!!

      I had bad jet lag forctwi weeks when I would teturn to visit from England. Then I discovered the vitamin trick and have had no jet lag while traveling all over the world!!!

      • Ali Garland
        April 24, 2016 @ 10:47 am

        A multi-vitamin? A specific one? Sounds really strange that just taking a vitamin prevents you from having jet lag, but if it works for you, that’s great. I’m finding that as I get older, jet lag is harder and harder to battle!