Help me reset my sleep schedule... quickly.
August 13, 2017 9:50 PM   Subscribe

I have a trip coming up (flying out midnight Tuesday), and I'd like there to be as little misery on the sleep end as possible. Unfortunately, I've severely offset my sleep schedule over the last few months. AskMe, please help me reset this schedule quickly!

I'm currently used to going to bed at 4AM and waking up sometime around 11AM // noon. My travel plan is as follows:

Arrive at airport 11PM Tuesday night
Fly out at 1AM. First leg ~5h, second leg ~2h (with only 40 minutes to get between terminals, so no downtime).

Arrive at destination city ~10AM
Hotel check-in is around 2PM
I have an obligation at 5PM
The rest of my party will be joining me at 7PM
We will probably not settle down until midnight or later, and I need to be up at ~8:30 to prepare for an event that day.

I can't normally sleep on planes, so I can't rely on being somewhat rested from that. I have non-perscription sleep aids and melatonin to help induce sleep if needed. Please help give me a plan to not be completely miserable!
posted by isauteikisa to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Melatonin can be used to reduce jet lag! But you have to do some math to avoid making things worse. If you google Jane Brody melatonin you'll find her NY Times article about how to minimize jet lag. Good luck.
posted by bq at 10:22 PM on August 13, 2017

What's happening Tuesday between 10 AM and 2 PM? That's the window when you'll be really feeling the lack of sleep. Is there a way to check in to your hotel earlier? Is there some other place where you could nap?

As a night owl that schedule gives me the horrors. And I'm not really sure how that schedule would work for somebody on a "normal" schedule either, so I'm not sure what kind of "reset" would help. You may just have to tough it out without much sleep, or reschedule some things if it's at all possible. If you can budge that 5 PM meeting you could at least do some napping at the hotel, then when you get back at 12:30 you'll probably crash again.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:47 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Early check-in, early check-in, early check-in and nap if at ALL possible. I'm like you and have a ton of trouble sleeping on red-eyes (last one I was on, a double Ambien dose and the fanciest neck pillow I could buy did NOTHING) so if I were doing this same trip I'd figure out exactly what strings i need to pull to be able to use that 10 am - 4 pm chunk for horizontal sleep time, even if it meant spending extra money.
posted by augustimagination at 10:54 PM on August 13, 2017

What's the difference in time zones? On the face of it, I'd take Benadryl at least by midnight until Tuesday, and try to cut out of your midnight-before-8:30a festivities early.
posted by rhizome at 10:57 PM on August 13, 2017

Read up on various melatonin dosages before you take it. Since it is loosely regulated, some formulations can be very strong if I understand.

I had some from a health food store that left me feeling a bit bleh the next day.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:58 PM on August 13, 2017

I have not tried it myself, but several sources point to fasting for 16 hours before breakfast time at your destination
posted by O9scar at 11:41 PM on August 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Go to bed as early as you can manage till you go. Sleep in too. You want to go into this with no sleep debt.

Sleep on the plane if you can. Is there a time difference? I can't tell. Try to sleep, but don't stress yourself out if you can't. I personally wouldn't want to risk falling asleep during transit, so I probably wouldn't take any sleep aids.

Nap when you get to the hotel. I generally don't let myself sleep for more than a couple of hours after a longhaul/red eye flight, but you could try and get early check in.

I know you say that you've got things on until midnight, however, I personally would be completely knackered from the flight, and it's one of the few times I'm fairly certain to be able to get to sleep as soon as it's dark (also a night owl). If the morning event is more important than the evening, I would excuse myself from the evening event early. Then go to bed, turn off all the lights and listen to podcasts/radio until I fall asleep. If the evening is as important than the morning, then I would just accept that the morning will be shitty, and plan accordingly (idiot proof everything, have a wake up call or three, try and squeeze in a nap).

I've actually started taking the red eye back from Perth to Sydney, starting work the day after I get in, as I find that the complete lack of sleep during the flight means that it's easier to deal with the jetlag, as I'm just exhausted and confused about the time, which is easier to deal with than trying to get up 6 hours earlier in one day (3 hours time difference + 3 hours sleeping in because I'm on holiday when I'm in Perth).
posted by kjs4 at 12:18 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Time zone difference will be 3h (Pacific to Eastern)
posted by isauteikisa at 12:42 AM on August 14, 2017

The fasting thing works. I have a 6h offset Trip I make at least once a year and it saves two or three days on either end. Also, melatonin helps if I've slipped up on the fast, becausing fasting is hard.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:24 AM on August 14, 2017

Thirding fasting on Tuesday until breakfast time on the East Coast. You can also follow the recommendations in the link I gave and make today (Monday) a "feast day." Eat a sleep-inducing carb-heavy dinner and get as early a bedtime as you can.
posted by a sourceless light at 8:41 AM on August 14, 2017

« Older Do most blind people keep their eyes open or...   |   Winter Comforts Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.