5 Responses

  1. Ken Dwight
    Ken Dwight at |

    Seth, I’d encourage you to try the StopJetLag program referenced in the ABC article. For $35 you get an itinerary personalized to your flight times and personal habits, suggesting what and when to eat, sleep, reset your watch, and other factors that cause jet lag.

    I’ve used their service for 9 international trips, between my home base in Houston, TX and the U. K. and Australia/New Zealand. In every case my body was on local time when I arrived at my destination, eastbound or westbound, and I’ve never lost a productive minute to jet lag.

    Highly recommended!

  2. Seth
    Seth at |

    But what is the impact on your day-to-day activities prior to departure? If the process messes with my pre-departure life as well then it doesn’t work. At least not the way I need it to. Trading inconvenience and inefficiencies from one end of the trip to the other doesn’t eliminate the problem; it simply shifts it.

  3. Kiwi Flyer
    Kiwi Flyer at |

    I don’t use drugs (unless you count alcohol). Instead I use common sense and exhaustion approach. When I’m exhausted I’ll sleep, so the trick is to be exhausted at the right time.

    Like you, I’m sceptical about jetlag strategies that require planning over multiple days. What happens if your flight is delayed 12 hours?

  4. Tristram
    Tristram at |

    In the late ’80s and early ’90s I lived and trained, for my particular sport, in Hungary. I would have to travel to the US 5 times a year for competitions and to see my family in California and then back to Europe for training or a world cup competition on the way back. It was important to be peaking both mentally and physically for the competitions. Jetlag was a big problem for me. As you probably know, it’s basically the problem of shifting your sleep schedule and keeping in sync associated biorhythms like the temperature cycle. I haven’t looked at sleep research in the last decade so my knowledge may be out of date. My understanding is you can shift your sleep cycle (without any debilitating effect) forward 1.5 to 2.5 hours per day but backward only about half an hour. This is why traveling East is harder with the worst shift being about 9 hours earlier (or 15 hours later, exactly the shift from California to Europe). It is best to start your sleep cycle shift before you leave taking into account the above limitation and the total shift. This did work better for me when I used melatonin. Provigil is banned by the USADA for my sport but Nuvigil isn’t, so far. I am sure it will be once it’s approved by the FDA. Melatonin is not prohibited and may be the only choice for athletes who travel and don’t have the time or money to hang out for several days at the city of each competition. interesting note: Provigil, I have heard, is being used by fighter pilots instead of amphetamines these days.

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