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Flying Overnight To Europe YYZ-LHR- Jetlag Advice?  
User currently offlineBakersdozen From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 336 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3832 times:

Hey all,

May be a slightly different question than the norm here. I am flying AC YYZ to LHR in a couple of weeks leaving YYZ at ~9pm and landing in LHR at ~8am. Going to have to be awake the whole day in Toronto and the next day in London.

I've never done any overseas/overnight flight to Europe like this. Any advice you travel pros can give with regards to sleeping so I'll be semi-fresh the next day? I figure I'll just have a couple of beers and try to sleep for a few hours while over the Atlantic. What about sleeping pills? Never taken any sleeping meds before and really have no idea.

This may sound like a stupid question, but I am really just curious as to tips.

I guess I could always suck it up too  Smile

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRdwootty From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 905 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3797 times:

The best is to eat prior to boarding and then relax when you have boarded. ( with some eyeshades) do not eat on plane and then you should be right. The flight is not very long anyway so you will be tired as you will have only had about 4 hours sleep .Also put your watch on to UK time prior to boarding so it will be 0100 when you take off.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3773 times:

I would personally avoid sleeping pills as you never know how you will react, especially if you're not used to using them.

A few other suggestions:


  • Avoid alcohol except maybe a beer or glass of wine right after takeoff.
  • Drink plenty of water or non-carbonated juice etc.
  • Don't eat much during the flight, or eat before you leave and don't eat at all on the flight except whatever they give you for breakfast before arrival. On a flight leaving at 9PM it's unlikely the meal would be served before 10PM which is probably later than you'd be eating at home, and then trying to fall asleep right after eating may not be easy.
  • Don't sleep as long as usual the night before you leave so you'll be tired by the time you leave and more likely to sleep.
  • Reset your watch to LHR time as soon as you board the flight. Seems to have a psychological benefit to start thinking in terms of the time at your destination as soon as possible.
  • Get a little fresh air and exercise on arrival, even a short walk. Daylight (especially if the sun is shining) supposedly helps reset the body clock. Sunshine is of course often in short supply in London this time of year!


User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2726 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3767 times:

This Spring we traveled CO SAN-IAH-AMS, then drove to Ghent after working several hours before our noon departure. We found a product named No Jet Lag, which is a herbal type product that you take at first takeoff and every two hours until you land. It seemed to work as, even though I got a little tired driving from AMS-Ghent, I didn't seem to have the days of adjustment to a different time zone. The next day I felt as if I was in CA and so did my wife.

On the return it didn't seem to work as well, but it's a longer flight and all dayight. It was better than our last trip MXP-EWR-SAN when I didn't know how much longer the transcon with headwinds would take after the nearly 10 hour TATL flight. The meal was served and movie completed, then CO turned on the Skyshow and we hadn't gotten over MCI yet.

There's enough in a package of No Jet Lag to get two people from the West Coast to Europe and back for maybe $10-15.


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

Be careful of sleeping meds. They usually last about 8 hours after you take them and your flight is less than that. You end up getting off the plane half asleep and trying to clear customs. I never take sleeping pills unless the flight is at least 12 hours long. Also, sleeping meds in me tend to dry out my throat and eyes, which is not good on an airplane. I have woken up from the meds feeling like my mouth was full of sand.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the eastbound transatlantic flights from the east coast are really awful. Even though the flight leaves at 9 pm., it will almost surely include a full meal service after departure with the carts in the aisle, the lights on and all the commotion. Then about 45 minutes before landing, there will be some type of breakfast service. The result is that your remaining sleeping time is 4 hours at most. Finally your internal clock will tell you it it is 3 am. when you land, but everybody around in the airport will be perky and wide awake. It is really disconcerting.


User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

Sleep, sleep, and water.
Don't get engrossed in the movies or games or anything - they tend to keep you awake (well, depends on the movie).
Sleep, water.
As mentioned, eat before the flight, but not a big greasy airport burger (to much $$ at YYZ anyway).
Sleep, drink water.
If by chance you can't sleep, sit back and erlax (eyes closed) for as much as you can stand it.

Did I mention sleep?

FYI - I'm at the FRU end of a YYC-LHR-FRU trip, returning on Sat (21 hours in planes). The above got me here in fine shape to be useful the day I got here (at 6am). Not that I wasn't lagged, but I was able to function reasonably well.

Have fun (always!)



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlineBAW716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3685 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
I would personally avoid sleeping pills as you never know how you will react, especially if you're not used to using them.

A few other suggestions:


* Avoid alcohol except maybe a beer or glass of wine right after takeoff.
* Drink plenty of water or non-carbonated juice etc.
* Don't eat much during the flight, or eat before you leave and don't eat at all on the flight except whatever they give you for breakfast before arrival. On a flight leaving at 9PM it's unlikely the meal would be served before 10PM which is probably later than you'd be eating at home, and then trying to fall asleep right after eating may not be easy.
* Don't sleep as long as usual the night before you leave so you'll be tired by the time you leave and more likely to sleep.
* Reset your watch to LHR time as soon as you board the flight. Seems to have a psychological benefit to start thinking in terms of the time at your destination as soon as possible.
* Get a little fresh air and exercise on arrival, even a short walk. Daylight (especially if the sun is shining) supposedly helps reset the body clock. Sunshine is of course often in short supply in London this time of year!



Viscount's advice is about the best I've heard. The only other suggestion I have is to capnap a little on the flight...don't sleep the entire flight, because you'll wake up like you've been hit by a bus...unless of course, you have a meeting on arrival in which case trying to sleep on the flight is the best answer. I also find that a power nap the afternoon of arrival (less than 30 minutes) just gives you enough rest to keep going, but not too much to allow you to fall into a deep sleep. If you do this, you'll be tired at the end of the first day and you should be able to sleep much of the night.

Of course, coming westbound, the exact opposite is true; capnap on the flight is fine, but arriving mid afternoon, you need to keep going as best you can until near bedtime at your destination, then go to bed. You'll sleep through the night and be tired the next day...but you won't fall asleep. This technique and those of Viscount have cut my jetlag time from seven days to about two in each direction. I've crossed the Atlantic now about 40 times and have found this technique works well for me. Of course, I avoid am arrivals like the plague if I can avoid it. I prefer to arrive in Europe in the afternoon, then gut it out until nighttime. This works from the west coast of the US to Europe (I live in Seattle), but for east coast folks, 90% of those flights eastbound arrive in the morning. Best of luck to you.

baw716



David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1234 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3617 times:

Its generally not too much of an issue on relatively short flights like YYZ-LHR. I just set my watch to destination time on boarding and then just do what I would normally do. I usually watch a movie during dinner dervice and then get around 3 hours shut eye (I can never sleep on aircraft even in 1st/biz class but it helps to put on eye shades and rest the eyes). On landing in London you'll probably find that you feel more refreshed than you think you will. One big tip is not to go to bed too early in the evening. It may be tempting just to nod off but your body won't thank you for it the next day. I always stay awake until around 22:30 and then I always have the best sleep ever. Then get up at your normal time the next day and you will be good as gold.


Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3510 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3592 times:

Wouldn't take sleeping pills, but try something like Melantonin (which are not sleeping pills instead) Last time i flew back from the US to Europe, did I have one Melantonin pill, a beer and a double gin&tonic and has never felt better at arrival

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16365 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days ago) and read 3500 times:

Don't do any sleep adjustment prior to your flight. When you arrive & check into your hotel in London upon arrival (after 3pm or so), have a 1-2 hour power nap. This should be enought to refresh you through to the "new" midnight.

A 5-hour time difference is not much. You should be on track by your first full day (the day after arrival).



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineTPAnx From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3466 times:

I've tried to adjust my body clock to my destination time for a couple of days before departure..especially eastbound.--helps me sleep on the plane, Drink lots of water on the plane..limit liquor and wine. Don't overeat. When you arrive, stay awake until the normal bedtime at your destination ..get out in the sunshine..and do some walking. It helps me reset
my body clock.

Quoting Someone83 (Reply 8):
try something like Melantonin

I've heard that..but I also read a few years ago that the stuff was the subject of an experiment in Europe as to whether
it could be used for birth controll?? I'm wary about over the counter / health store stuff..but that's just me...
Enjoy your trip,,
TPAnx



I read the news today..oh boy
User currently offlineBakersdozen From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 336 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3320 times:

Thanks for the tips. I will be traveling all day prior to the flight so hopefully can make myself exhausted... Light eating and watch change is a good idea.

User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3256 times:

I second most of the things said above. Lots of water, spend time in the sun, change your watch, consider adjusting your sleep schedule a little bit beforehand (maybe incrementally over a couple of days, if your work schedule allows). I only tried the powernap thing once, and it backfired on me and I was out for HOURS.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people sometimes react differently to jet lag when travelling Eastbound versus Westbound. I'm generally fine Eastbound, but have jet lag after going Westbound, but I guess everybody's different?


User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2296 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3229 times:

My parents are a little different than me. They take the earliest flight so land just after 6am. They check into their hotel early and get a few hours sleep. I feel worse if I do that. I may doze for a bit but never sleep on the plane for some reason. I get plenty of sleep the few days before I fly.

Follow what Viscount said. But I Start hydrating with water the day before. I like to eat light the day before and day of - reasonable meat and lots of veggies/salad and fruit and skip heavy starches. Go easy on the sugar and alcohol. Have turkey or pasta for dinner your first day there and you will be out like a light.

Not on the sleep question, but I also find the saline sprays for the nose really help keep me from getting the airplane cold from the dry air and I take vitamins before, during and after when I usually don't.


User currently offlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5783 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

Interesting that so many people are saying sleep on the plane. That's the one thing I avoid, even on longer (8-16 hours) flights. I may rest my eyes for five to ten minutes but I don't want to sleep. I want to be able to sleep when I get to my destination and sleep the whole night. I may wake up at an odd hour but I can easily go back to sleep. I do the same coming back, no sleep so I can actually sleep at the new normal nighttime.

Doesn't anyone else do this?

Tug



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2869 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3202 times:

Quoting Tugger (Reply 14):
Doesn't anyone else do this?

Well, I don't sleep on planes, but moslty because the only place where I can fall asleep is in a bed, and in a silent environment. When I flew back to CDG from JFK, the flight was at 11 pm or something and i tried to get some sleep to avoid any jet lag, but no success, even with ear plugs and eye mask.

[Edited 2007-11-20 10:22:54]


"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlineSuper80DFW From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 1697 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3192 times:

The sleeping pills would maybe keep you asleep after you are in London. You don't want to be tired while you are doing what you are supposed to be doing in England (Meeting, Sightseeing, etc.).


"Things change, friends leave, life doesn't stop for anybody." -- EAT'EM UP EAT'EM UP KSU!!
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4593 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

A pity you can't take the 9am flight out of YYZ to LHR. Once you've done a daytime flight from eastern North America to Europe, you will never want to deal with those lousy overnight flights again.

User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2296 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

One of my friends swears by them. However you miss another day of work in the travel time. So it comes down to how your body clock adjusts and how flexible you are.

User currently offlineFlyMeToTheMoon From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 242 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

Here is what I do - no alcohol, lots of water, no movie, light meal eaten as fast as possible and then half of an Ambien pill and a half of Ibuprofen (for aches from the economy class seat). Two pillows (or a neck pillow), two blankets and earplugs on a window seat and at I end up waking up at the other end after a decent 5-7 hours sleep. I do this every couple of months and it works like a charm. Hope this works. Happy flying.


Fly me to the moon... but not through LHR!
User currently offlineRJNUT From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 20 hours ago) and read 2827 times:

I once made the mistake of taking a nap upon arrival in Europe and that screwed me up for the remainder of my trip...Resist all temptation to do this on your 1st day and stay up until 9p-10p their time and you will be able to reset much quicker!

User currently offlineEaa3 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 20 hours ago) and read 2817 times:

When you get to London try to stay awake for the entire day. However tired you are do not go to sleep. Try to sleep on the plane as much as possible.

If you stay awake all day it will take you a much shorter time to get used to your new time zone but if you sleep upon arrival there will be no real change from the Toronto time zone and your body will act as if it is Toronto. It makes a huge difference and by staying awake the first day you will cut the time it takes to get used to your new time zone by many days.


EDIT: RJNUT beat me by 8 seconds with this advice.

[Edited 2007-11-21 08:50:10]

User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 20 hours ago) and read 2778 times:

Get one of those inflatable neck pillows. Best thing every for sleeping on a plane. Your whole body will thank you. Definitely drink lots of water and set your watch to UK time.

If you can stay planted for the whole flight, take a window. If you think you might have to rise for relief, an aisle is the way to go.

Other than that, my opinion is try to get as much sleep as you can, when you can. Your clock will be screwed no matter what you do. Ultimately any bit of sleep seems to help, at least it does for me. I always seem to get sucked into the movies. It messes me up every time. Put Airmap on the screen...and that's it. I find it great to have the flight info right there when I wake up. I just like knowing where I am and all that boring stuff.

My opinion is to stay away from any pills, coffee, booze (except maybe a beer or glass of wine). I sleep great with a full stomach so the eating thing is your call.

Good luck.



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