PDA

View Full Version : Gorilla tactics to combat Jet Lag



pnevai
10-09-2007, 00:00
Some tips and tricks from someone who used to be on planes more than many people used mass transportation.

1. Try not to sleep the night before

2. Buy yourself one of those inflateable neck pilkows. You may look really stupid but if the tricks later in this list don't work you will be glad you did.

3. Book a window seat, this gives you something to lean against and increases your comfort factor a ton. You may get lucky and the center seat will not be taken hence more room to get comfortable. The Isle guy has no such luxury, if you lean out there you will be bumped by everyone walking down the isle not to mention the beverage cart.

4. Have your doctor prescribe a sleeping aide. You want to sleep as much of the flight as possible. Better to miss out on the crappy airline food than to be uncomfortable and cramped the whole trip.

5. Be a seat stalker. Mark and remember any empty seat locations on the plane. Your preferences are empty middle isle seats on wide bodies. 3 are good an empty row is better. If you do not have a window seat then scope out an empty one. When the crew closes the cabin doors but before the plane pulls away from the gate make your move. If you are really lucky you can stake out an entire row of empty seats (these are usually found at the rear of the plane)

Don't worry about the flight attendants saying anything they won't They have more improtant stuff to take care of at that point. In the 18 years I've been doing this not once was I asked to return to my origional seat. When you have staked your claim to the row, just fip up the arm rests and you have a nice bed for later on.

6 The fold out tray tables are good pillow rests. again you will look stupid but when stuck in a middle seat and you did not purchase a neck pillow you make do with what is avaiable.

7. Remember all arm rests flip up except the ones on the isle ends and some in the emergency exit rows. Scoping out empty seats in the emergency exit rows is also prime real estate except those rows tend to book up first.

8. When booking your seats get a floor / seating plan for the plane and if possible book a window seat in an emergency exit isle, these isles usually do not have any seats in front and let you stretch out more.

9. Of course you can always book first class and drink yourself into a stupor for free the entire trip, but even then snagging a whole row of empty seats to craash on back in coach is hard to beat.

All of the above tactics I have personally used with great success, Ive even had multiple meals by being fortunate to be booked in business class. As meals are staggered and the crew in back does not serve the group in first or business, just find an empty seat in the back, get your meal and then go back to first or business calss and get another or if you left your tray table down before you left it will be sitting there waiting for you.

Remember 99% of people flying are cattle, they behave with the same heard mentality. You need to be the wolf and have your plan of attack ready the minute you board. If there are two of you the you have a better advantage to snag a whole row as each of you can take an isle seat, remember the hearding mentality no other cow will notice or try to take any of the remaining empty seats. In this manner I have had an entire row to myself even on some pretty full flights because cows remain cows and I have no problem with even the last back row on a plane. It takes a couple of minutes longer to disembark but who cares so long as I am freash after the trip.

deepdiver47
10-09-2007, 07:30
Wow, since I travel a great deal overseas for business I have always been interested in learning new techniques. My flights are to Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Flight times range from 16-21 hours. For me lag in Asia is 2 days, 5 days when I fly back home to Houston. Here are my 2 cents worth:

1. Try not to sleep the night before

I have tried this only to have been more tired. I have also tried staying awake during the flights. I find that cat naping works best along with drinkiing alot of water (never refuse the water they give you, and ask for more)

2. Buy yourself one of those inflateable neck pilkows. You may look really stupid but if the tricks later in this list don't work you will be glad you did.

They are awesome, don't leave home without them! I prefer the beanie over the air. Just snap it to the out side of the carry on bag. Also, bring ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones for the best sleep.

3. Book a window seat, this gives you something to lean against and increases your comfort factor a ton. You may get lucky and the center seat will not be taken hence more room to get comfortable. The Isle guy has no such luxury, if you lean out there you will be bumped by everyone walking down the isle not to mention the
beverage cart.

Although you may sleep better I still take the aisle in the center section The ease of getting in/out overides this.

4. Have your doctor prescribe a sleeping aide. You want to sleep as much of the flight as possible. Better to miss out on the crappy airline food than to be uncomfortable and cramped the whole trip.

Don't like big pharma. Try 3 mg OTC melatonin

5. Be a seat stalker. Mark and remember any empty seat locations on the plane. Your preferences are empty middle isle seats on wide bodies. 3 are good an empty row is better. If you do not have a window seat then scope out an empty one. When the crew closes the cabin doors but before the plane pulls away from the gate make your move. If you are really lucky you can stake out an entire row of empty seats (these are usually found at the rear of the plane)

I have done this but you'd better be quick, others are hawking them as well. An empty any seat is almost a thing of the past.

6 The fold out tray tables are good pillow rests. again you will look stupid but when stuck in a middle seat and you did not purchase a neck pillow you make do with what is avaiable.

yes, this will work as well, watch your drooling though :)

7. Remember all arm rests flip up except the ones on the isle ends and some in the emergency exit rows. Scoping out empty seats in the emergency exit rows is also prime real estate except those rows tend to book up first.

Agreed

8. When booking your seats get a floor / seating plan for the plane and if possible book a window seat in an emergency exit isle, these isles usually do not have any seats in front and let you stretch out more.

Go to www.seatguru.com (http://www.seatguru.com), find your airline and plane. It will tell you what is a bad seat.

9. Of course you can always book first class and drink yourself into a stupor for free the entire trip, but even then snagging a whole row of empty seats to craash on back in coach is hard to beat.

Don't think about drinking on a long flight. It will make it worse as it dehydrates you. And then you will feel like sh*t when you wake up.

"You need to be the wolf and have your plan of attack ready the minute you board"

Very, very true.....

ScaredSilly
10-09-2007, 18:00
A few others

Set your watch to the arrival local time. Starting thinking in those terms.

When you arrive avoid sleeping until that night. If needed take a short nap to help you get to "bed time" but no more than 30-60 minutes.

pnevai
10-09-2007, 18:08
Not sleeping the night before only works if you can sleep almost the entire trip to the destination.

Taking the Isle seat makes for gettinjg in and out easier But and it is a big but. Other than getting bumped by everyone moving up and down the isle, depending on the people sitting outboard of you (the window and middle seats) you have to get up every single time to let them in and out. I've been on some flights (especially to Tel Aviv) where I felt like a toll booth atendant. Sleep? Forget about it. Up and down, up and down.

A side note, if you ever have to fly to Isreal TWA used to have a Saturday Night flight. I think either American or United picked up that route. BOOK THAT FLIGHT!!! Do not fly El Al during a week day! you will not regret it.

My flights to Asia were via Northwest airlines via the atlantic route from JFK to Narita and then onwards from there. The pacific route to Narita is used to be always more crowded. (More Japanese on the west coast)

datamunk
10-09-2007, 18:24
nyquil works as well. eveyr time i flew to europe i drink nyquil on the flight, wish ihad from las vegas to atl... red eyeflight and i was gettin sick, and was so uncomfy and pissed on the plane :\

DiverBry
10-09-2007, 23:51
I second the Melatonin suggestion... take it each night at bedtime after you arrive in the new timezone... you'll be asleep before you know it with no medicine head in the morning.

When you get home, take it each night at bedtime for a few days... your body's clock will very quickly reset itself.

Plus... no risk of it being habit forming, so you can feel better taking it.

Most drugstores and vitamin places (like GNC) carry it... and it is very cheap.

bversteegh
10-10-2007, 01:32
I usually have no trouble with jet lag going west - especially if I can dive soon after arriving:smiley20::smiley20:. Coming back is horrible (Indonesia is 10 time zones), usually takes me at least a week to get back on normal sleep patterns.

I fly a lot for work, so I usually have enough FF miles to fly business class for scuba trips. I think it makes a huge difference to be able to lay down and sleep. Also, you get to use the airport lounges in business/first class; much better place to kill time waiting for connections (and most of them have showers - really nice after a cross-Pacific flight).

Also, Singapore Airlines has certain planes outfitted in what they call executive economy class - just a little more expensive than coach, seats are wider, more legroom, and recline a decent amount (LAX to Singapore is around 1200 US, vs 800 for coach vs 4500 for business). If I don't have enough miles for business, this is a good alternative.

I also agree with the bean bag pillow and noise cancelling headphones - drink lots of water. I also try to stay up late a couple days before I leave, and then on the plane also, so I am sleeping closer to the time zone of the destination.

cutter77
10-10-2007, 18:57
....and I always use ear plugs to cut out the crying babies and the jet engine noise.

Also, some snacks that aren't full of sugar and carry an empty water bottle thru security that I fill just before boarding.

scubajane
10-11-2007, 18:04
empty bottle is great. be sure to fill AFTER you go through security.

tbuckalew
10-12-2007, 13:43
East and West travel I handle differently...I used to fly to Europe and the Far East on a regular basis and it was always difficult for me and my coworkers - however, we did a few things that really helped.

For east-bound travel, we simply stay up late the couple of days before and start living "local time" before we left. When crossing the pond, we simply took the 5pm flight (arriving roughly at 8am local time the next day) and stayed up on the flight. Worked through the day and went to sleep "on time".

West-bound travel was a bit different. Here, we forced ourselves up early several days in a row (seemed to take more going east than west) - again, back on "local" time as best we could (when you cross the date line, it gets much harder as you end up losing a day in your mind somewhere). The downside to this is that we always lost our last few evenings at home as we ended up going to sleep around 6pm!

When we couldn't get to sleep, a sleep aid, or (as quoted several times to far) NyQuil worked wonders.

MEL-DC Diver
10-12-2007, 13:58
Eat lots of bananas?

:smiley36: (Come on, I can't be the only one who spotted this?)

RoadRacer1978
10-12-2007, 14:04
Good tips from all. I don't do a lot of air travel, but some of these tips may help next time I do.

namabiru
10-16-2007, 01:18
Noise cancelling headphones are your friend. I've got a decent pair I nicked from Northworst business class.

If you can, in transit, have a shower and put on clean clothes. You'll feel so much better. Even if it costs you money.

The whole alcohol bit-- I've tried both, and it don't matter. Either way you get dehydrated on the plane. Why not stuff yourself full of drinks and enjoy a bit? The thing to slow down on, I've learned, is food. They try to stuff you full of food, and you inevitably end up getting all bloated and feeling icky. Then again, this is coming from the chick who is happy eating one big meal a day or two small ones on a workday, with small healthy snack supplements as I need them.

At your destination, if you are relocating permanently, make sure to stay up as long as you can each day. It's hard, but go out and do something. Go to the mall, go to the bookshop, whatever. It takes one day for each time zone to adjust. It took me an extra 2 days. Which I expected, from my Japan suaray.

Setting your watch to local time helps as well. Maybe not from the getgo, as then it's easy to misjudge time, but when you board for your final destination.

cooltravelnews
10-16-2007, 02:23
I like the Company Store's down neck pillow and 25mg halcyon & a dalmane chaser. The halcyon will knock out an elephant for 2hours and the dalmane will keep you a sleep for 5-7hours on a long trip. That is what I have used on long red-eyes for 20-years.

grslar
10-20-2007, 22:41
Having just returned from Thailand last week, your Gorilla Tactics are right on. The 1:00 AM EVA Air Flight LAX to Taipei then connection works well. You get 13 hours to sleep and it is 6:30 AM when you get there. EVA air also offers an Elite Economy seat that is like domestic 1st class with a foot rest. It is only a few hundred more and well worth the trip.
By the way, this was the second dive trip to thailand, with a junior diver. Koh Tao/Koh Samui was very disappointing. Phuket and the Similan Islands was awesome.
Let me know if I can provide more information.

lmorin
10-22-2007, 22:19
Some tips and tricks from someone who used to be on planes more than many people used mass transportation.......

Not to nitpick, but you have given advice regarding airplane travel, and not specifically "jetlag." Jetlag is a specific syndrome that results from the difference between the local time of day at the destination and the traveler's body time. Example: if a person lives on the east coast, body time is 3 hr in advance of west coast time. If the person flies to the west coast non-stop, the body time will re-synchronize to local time over a period of 4-8 days, depending upon the individual. Adjustment of the body clock to a new time is notoriously difficult by other than exposure to the local light-dark photoperiod. In laboratory animals, a variety of drugs can be administered to alter timing of the body clock, effectively eliminating or reducing the equivalent of jetlag. But all such drugs require fairly exact knowledge of the animal's body time in order to optimally administer the drug. For the most part, this information is lacking in humans, and most of the drugs used in animals are not appropriate for use in humans. Although the travel tips are not likely to alter the basic phenomenon of jetlag, they can reduce the negative impact of jetlag on a variety of related issues, such as sleep deprivation caused by crowded, uncomfortable planes.