I'm experiencing jet-lag, any tips on how to adjust my sleep pattern?

  1. I just came back from a vacation in another country, in a flight that took 12 hours nonstop from philippines to san francisco. so i decided to sleep coz i was dead tired, i must have slept for a good 7 hours all in all if i total it up.

    and the plane arrived 8 30 pm during the night- june 30th.

    i should have followed the rules in the airline pamphlet that if the arrival time is at night, stay awake throught the flight.

    so i decided to stay awake all night last night and all day to see if i can tire my body out so i can get some sleep. its currently 12 am july 2nd and i'm still awake. i was really sleepy during the day, but i didnt want to fall asleep so that i can tire myself out.

    i got jet lagged a 5 years back, same scenario, and it took me 3 weeks (maybe less) before i could adjust.

    any tips on how i can readjust my sleep pattern?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   NewEastCoastRN
    just give it time. if you want to sleep, i recommend benadryl. i switch back and forth from the day to night shift every 2 weeks, so i have permanent jetlag.
  4. by   hypnotic_nurse
    Melatonin. You take it at the time you should be going to bed. Works beautifully with jet lag; I didn't have any on my last trip overseas and that was the first time I'd used it.
  5. by   Wheaties
    i'll give melatonin supplements a try. i'm desperate, i only had 2 hours of sleep in the last 48 or so hours.

    does melatonin supplements really work hypnotic nurse?
  6. by   Farkinott
    I may sound glib but go to bed only when you are tired and if you have trouble dropping off to sleep read a really boring text book.
    The main thing is not to worry about not having enough sleep!
  7. by   James Huffman
    Sleep, sleep, sleep. That's the easy answer to jetlag ... but everybody has already said that.

    You are probably also dehydrated. (Nobody drinks enough H2O on flights, and the air is something akin to the Mojave desert). Start drinking water ... lots of it.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  8. by   hypnotic_nurse
    Melatonin worked well for me. I used to be skeptical of alternative treatments but have become more open in my "old age". Extra H2O is good, too.
  9. by   RedSox33RN
    I could never readjust my sleep pattern all at once, so broke it up over a few days with several 2-3 hour naps. That always helped me get on to schedule without meds.
  10. by   pod184
    The main issue here is resetting your internal clock. If at all possible, get out in the sunlight in the daytime. The bright light will really help. Drugs might help, but time is your best friend. I work straight nights, but rotate to a day schedule on my off time. I find that I function best when I am up daytime, even if I am bit tired, and I can still sleep at night.
  11. by   Audreyfay
    What I have heard is that your meals also might help reset your clock. Protein helps wake a person up. A good bedtime snack is cereal and milk. I remember hearing it years ago. That's why we "old folk" frequently have a bowl of cereal and milk before we go to bed. <----hey..I resemble that remark!
  12. by   Caveman
    Wheaties,

    I just returned from the Philippines too. Enjoyed the visit, but the flight was brutal. For some reason, I just can't fall asleep on an airplane, so I was more than ready to sleep by the time I arrived. Luckily, I got over my jet lag (going both ways) in only one day. By the time you read this, I'm sure you'll be over yours too. Take care.

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