SpeakerNet News Compilations
Recovering from Jet Lag
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We will be traveling to Amsterdam quite often this year on week-long trips. Does anyone have any recommendations on how they handle the time difference?
-- Michael Podolinsky
Here are my survival tips.
- Sleep on the plane if it's night time to where you are going AND at the time you will be sleeping on that side of the 'pond'. If you have trouble sleeping, stay up later than normal or get up really early before the flight so when you are on the plane, you can zonk out.
- Have your sleep kit ready for the plane: ear plugs, eye shield, comfy slippers, a body hugging shirt to keep you warm and a zippered jacket to regulate your temp, head phones (noise canceling) to go over the ears, window seat so the person with the tiniest bladder in the world doesn't wake you up every 20 minutes.
- When you arrive, get sunlight for at least 30 minutes and if possible and even better if it is on the back of your knees (saw an odd study that showed full spectrum lighting on the back of knees helps them in Russia with their dark winters). This lets your body know it's daytime.
- Don't go to bed early or nap in the afternoon the first day you arrive, no matter how tempting. It will throw you off for a week. Stay up at least until 9 PM in the new time zone, later if you can.
- I tried Melatonin and it helped one time and not so much the second. Found it DID help me to fall asleep more than prevent jetlag and THAT helped most.
- Biz class or first class. A one-off tourist can save money in cattle car. We need the comfort to survive perpetual air travel.
- Smile and laugh when I get tired. Just pumps me up.
-- Ray Strackbein
To reduce jet lag, make it a point to get outside and watch the sunrise and/or sunset as soon as you arrive. Your brain knows what to do with the changing light patterns and will reset your clock. Watch as many sunrises and sunsets as you need to. It is not necessary to actually be able to see the sun -- just the changing light pattern. Red clouds help. Artificial lights do not seem to help.
Stay on local time (set your watch immediately) and do not mentally convert (NOT "Wow, no wonder I feel so tired ... it's 3 AM back home").
-- Mitchell Goozé
My "secret" is to try to arrive around 4:00 pm. Once you clear customs, collect your luggage and get to the hotel it is dinner time. You can have a relaxing dinner, follow your evening, routine and go to sleep. You get up the next day ready to go. Unfortunately, with the "jammed world" we live in more flights arrive at 8:00 am so people can get in a full day's work (with what effectiveness is another question), so it is getting harder to find late afternoon arrivals.
These tips and many others are included in our eBooklet “Navigating International Business Trips and Jet Lag: Traveling Abroad with Aplomb,” available for download for only $9.95. This is part of the “Best Practice Travel Tips from Road Warriors” eBooklet series.
We have collected these tips from top professional speakers who know how to travel with less expense and fewer hassles.