The best way to recover from jetlag?

Came across this at the Xinhua news site recently. Some dude has done the requisite research and come up – at long last – with a cure for jetlag. It all has to do with periods of light and darkness after that regular half-way around the world trip. If you regulate those periods after arrival, plonking yourself in the sun for a specified period and then closing the curtains and donning sun glasses at another. Should the sun not be shining, then done one of these, with the light beaming into your eyes:headlight


In order to calculate exactly when and for how long one needs to do this, there’s a handy website, called Jet Lag Rooster. You simply insert your point of origin and time of departure, followed by the destination and time of arrival. And voila! For instance, for my recent return to Australia, I am advised to do the following:

Hi traveller,

Your flight has a time zone shift of 10 hours. There is a risk of jet lag.

Follow the suggestions below until you are sleeping well at night and alert during the day.

To reduce jet lag:

Sun, 6 Jan 2013
7:00 PM Depart, set watch 10 hours ahead (5:00 AM)
Tue, 8 Jan 2013
7:30 AM Arrive
10:00 AM–2:00 PM Seek light
2:00 PM–6:00 PM Avoid light
Wed, 9 Jan 2013
11:30 AM–3:30 PM Seek light
3:30 PM–7:30 PM Avoid light
Thu, 10 Jan 2013
1:00 PM–5:00 PM Seek light
5:00 PM–9:00 PM Avoid light
Fri, 11 Jan 2013
2:30 PM–6:30 PM Seek light
6:30 PM–10:30 PM Avoid light
Sat, 12 Jan 2013
4:00 PM–8:00 PM Seek light
8:00 PM–12:00 AM Avoid light
Sun, 13 Jan 2013
5:30 PM–9:30 PM Seek light
9:30 PM–1:30 AM Avoid light
Mon, 14 Jan 2013
7:00 PM–11:00 PM Seek light
11:00 PM–3:00 AM Avoid light
Tue, 15 Jan 2013
8:30 PM–12:30 AM Seek light
Wed, 16 Jan 2013
12:30 AM–4:30 AM Avoid light
10:00 PM–2:00 AM Seek light
Thu, 17 Jan 2013
2:00 AM–6:00 AM Avoid light

All very well, but I can imagine a situation – at a conference say, or for work – when you have to say suddenly, ‘Excuse me, but I need to enter my period of darkness now’. And note how long you are supposed to do this: 10 days! Doesn’t jetlag usually pass in 4 or 5 days?

I guess it beats the Ostrich pillow:



3 thoughts on “The best way to recover from jetlag?

  1. As you point out, a lot of these suggestions are impractical, esp if you have to show up first thing at a conference– wearing sun glasses and asking the organizers to draw the curtains in your lecture room will probably guarantee that this is the only invitation you’ll get from them.

    My practice (ok, only works for those who have a ton of frequent flier miles) is to try and get an upgrade to business class, knock back the free booze till one feels drowsy,.then use ear plugs and a blindfold to get some kip, and drink half a litre of water every time I go to the loo.

    On arrival, if sleepy take an immediate nap. When/if feeling awake go for a stroll, accompanied by a substantial meal.

    Will not ‘cure’ jet lag (impossible, imo), but renders it more tolerable for someone like me.

    1. I used to fill up on the free booze, since I’m an aviophobic. Can’t do that any more, so I swallow a couple of strong sleeping tablets, blow up my pillow, slip in the earplugs, put on the blindfold, and snore away. And there is a great pleasure, after arrival, in slipping down in one’s chair and taking a kip – all while a presenter drones on.

  2. I’ve done many long distance flights, especially east coast US to Asia, and Jet Lag Rooster’s recommendation of a ten or more day regimen seems a bit much. I usually manage to overcome jet lag in about 2-3 days max. The return trip to the US is always harder on me, with my body clock being messed up for longer, closer to 4-7 days.

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