Pls advise how to mitigate jet lag - one week trip to UK from Aus

(20 Posts)
mossiemagnet Wed 15-Jan-20 02:44:10

Hi All
Due to holiday allowance, and other work stuff I am travelling back to the UK for a one week visit. I know its not ideal due to jet lag, but can anyone advise if they have taken similar long haul flights fora short visit and how they coped with jet lag or reduced it? I'm taking a night flight out, and an early morning flight back. Any tips or tricks would be massively appreciated! smile

OP’s posts: |
GADDay Wed 15-Jan-20 03:02:44

From experience, I would say it's not possible unless you can afford business class.

If I were you, considering the cost, I would wait and save more leave.

I did a 9 day trip and the jet lag on the return was horrendous. It took me nearly another 9 days to feel normal again.

Smidge001 Wed 15-Jan-20 03:12:27

I fly to and from uk/Aus all the time as my husband is Australian. I fly economy and always take flights that mean arriving first thing in the morning. I just don't get jetlag at all. (my family call me the jetlag queen grin) I spend pretty much the whole flight (after the first meal) with eye patch on and ear plugs in, trying to sleep. I probably end up with 5 hours sleep in total and the rest of the time is just 'rest'. Then when I arrive at the other end I stay up all day. Don't go to bed before 9:30pm and then I sleep through. Usually wake up about 2:45am briefly (as I have now, after landing yesterday) but lie there long enough and I fall asleep again within about half an hour.

Basically, just stay up when you get there. Then you'll be so tired at bed time you'll slepp through.

I'd struggle though with morning flights that mean you arrive at night.

DNAwrangler Wed 15-Jan-20 03:40:12

Are you taking kids with you? In my experience it's manageable on your own, but add in a preschooler or two and everything goes out the window...

coolwalking Wed 15-Jan-20 03:49:44

Like PP said just stay up and make sure you have a proper place to sleep.

Also do NOT put sunglasses on when you get to Australia. It messes up your eyes and can't adjust properly.

I've done it from NZ which is another 3-4 hours more and have been done.

BinkyandBunty Wed 15-Jan-20 03:55:32

Smidge has it.

Sleep/rest for the whole flight, audiobooks are great. Then go straight into the new time zone on arrival. Lots of coffee, no day naps!

SnowsInWater Wed 15-Jan-20 04:57:07

Melatonin - for the real deal you need to get a prescription. You should be fine going to the UK, it's much worse coming back.

YeahNahWhal Wed 15-Jan-20 04:59:10

I like the timing of QF1 to the UK and QF2 to Aus. On the way, stay awake to Dubai. Brisk walk around the terminal during the stopover, then pop some sleepy herbal tablets and sleep to the UK. You land at 6am, push thru the day and go to bed early. You're good to go for the week. Similar on the way home, stay awake to Dubai then sleep as much as possible to Aus. Arrive at 7am and push on. No naps! You'll feel tired because return jet lag is harder, but you're well set up with this pattern.

TanteRose Wed 15-Jan-20 05:00:47

I fly from Japan to the UK on fairly short family visits (less than 2 weeks) and the trick is to completely switch to the arriving time zone immediately and power through.
If you feel sleepy, go for a walk - never ever take a nap.

Coming back, same thing - I arrive back in Tokyo in the morning, go home, have a quick shower and go to work in the afternoon.


mossiemagnet Wed 15-Jan-20 05:35:53

Thanks so much everyone! My night flight does stop at Abu Dhabi So I will make sure I keep active and then I land in the UK for around mid day so will aim to stay awake all day, the return flight means I fly through the Whole day and body clock will be confused when I land back in aus as it’ll be late tea time then work from home The day after (boss understands the reason for short trip so knows I may not be fully compus mentos on first day back) and tips on food? Ie what to avoid or what to eat- some people say constipation will be an issue which I hope to avoid!

OP’s posts: |
TanteRose Wed 15-Jan-20 05:45:48

I hardly eat anything on the flight itself - usually only the bread roll and any salad/fruit that is with the in-flight meal.
Maybe have a light meal in transit at Abu Dhabi, if the shops are open.
A couple of glasses of wine or a G&T is perfect to make me a bit sleepy on the plane! Also, drink lots of water.

When I'm back in the UK with family, I just eat what everyone else is having - and of course I've got to have my fix of Chinese take-away, fish and chips, Greggs etc wink

lots of fruit should keep things functioning grin

mossiemagnet Wed 15-Jan-20 06:38:34

@TanteRose Greggs! yes thats on my list! and 'chip shop chips' with a thick cup of curry sauce smile

OP’s posts: |
Elouera Wed 15-Jan-20 06:50:03

I do this trip quite often.
Are you able to start adjusting your sleep pattern prior to leaving? Even adjusting to sleeping an hour later or earlier each day and getting up earlier/later each day prior to leaving, can help move your body into the new time zone. When work allows, I start this a week before travelling.

Apparently it takes 1 day to adjust for each 1hr time zone difference- so from Aus, this would be 11days to adjust! I've never found jetlag lasts that long, but if this technically is the case, then you won't have even adjusted completely before you return home!

Get outside in the sunshine on your skin arrival each day. It helps your body clock due to the melanin, and wear an eye mask at night. If you are just SO tired you need to sleep in the day, set an alarm and limit it to 30mins. You'll feel awful waking up, but better to have a quick nap, than be so tired you can't carry on.

ivykaty44 Wed 15-Jan-20 06:57:12

I read up on avoiding jet lag

Not eating & exercise was the two things that kept being advised

The nit eating whilst flying was due to making your stomach neutralised which helps with your body then making the switch to the new time frame easier

If you have two legs of the flight and can’t do the entire flight then do the last 12 hours

No caffeine or alcohol or sugary drinks either

I stuck to herbal tea I took with me and plenty of water. I took food to the airport and eat an hour before the flight

Tbh it worked, my body seemed to clear out and started again with digestion and this helped

ivykaty44 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:01:11

I actually find audio books better than a film for relaxing, close your eyes & listen to the story - often fall asleep whilst listening

LunaLula83 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:07:45

Yes it is possible.
-I didn't drink alcohol (it was hard but so worth it)
-i switched to aus time as soon as I got on the plane and bought a brilliant eye mask that concaved over my eyes rather than pressed on my eyes and blocked out all light)
- I took my own meals of fruit salad, mini cheese, crackers, snacks and slept through airline meals.
- when I landed I went to a dinner party that night and stayed up till 1am, drank minimal.
No hangover! Everyone was amazed.

LunaLula83 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:09:51

And exercise! I found a seat at the very back of the plane on its own with a single window. It was a secret spot about 5 of us noticed and was a lovely calm space. It's the the stewardess on take off and landing.

Palavah Wed 15-Jan-20 07:15:58

Your body finds it harder to sleep when hungry/easier when not because it's programmed to keep you awake long enough to be able to find sufficient food to sustain you.

Adjust your behaviour from the point you get on the plane (if not earlier) to line up with your destination time zone.

Melatonin - supplements, but also when you get to the UK make sure you get plenty of daylight (can be tricky if it's a grey week) so your body knows it's daytime.

Pythonesque Wed 15-Jan-20 07:17:40

Be aware that it is not only jetlag but the exhaustion of the travelling that can be an issue. So strategies to maximise your ability to get some sleep on the flight are important. For a one week trip I'd aim to minimise how far you adjust to the time change if possible!

The 11 days to adjust to 11 hours time difference is probably accurate if you do nothing to help yourself adjust. I realised that when I travelled with my children as babies!

Which reminds me of the one time I did the trip with no jetlag at all - when I took my eldest home to visit her grandparents at 3 months. My day/night routine was so non-existent I noticed no change at all.

Mylittlepony374 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:19:43

I also find fresh air and sunlight key. Go for a walk morning &evening if you can ( I know it's dark early in UK these days) ,let's your body know it's daylight and daytime.
I travel long haul a lot, tried sleeping changes, tried jet lag tablets, etc etc.
Sunlight and staying up until a reasonable sleep time in your destination are the only way in my opinion.

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