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Monday, January 7, 2013

Jetlag is evil

Oy. It’s way easier going to China than coming home, isn’t it?

Any words of wisdom?


  1. The worst jetlag I ever had was when we came back from China. It took almost a full week before I felt like a human. Good luck.

  2. Anonymous1/07/2013

    I know you'll hate this answer because it can't do anything now - plus it probably made the trip so much easier in process, but my only trick is that I've found NOT sleeping on planes keeps the jet lag away... :-/

    I force staying awake no matter how many days of no sleep it means until I get to my destination and it's nighttime in that actual destination. It's worked on hundreds of international/round-the-world trips - although it's not always fun in the process.

    Admittedly I tried to sleep one of the times I had upgraded to the 180 flat bed seats on BA (obviously a different carrier, but looks like what you guys had to China) b/c of the luxury of it and just to see if that would change anything, and while I didn't sleep much, it did mess with my system...I'm not sure if it's b/c I slept just enough to mess with my body or if I shouldn't ruin a good thing and should keep doing what I always do?

    Ok, I can't believe this question finally got me out of just lurking and following along your blog and praying for you guys anonymously! Ha!

    The trip looked like a blast - China's one of the few places I've not been! (And the timing was great - I've been in/out of the hospital for the last two months so I felt like I was living vicariously through your journey)

    Your girls and your adventures always bring a smile to my face!

    God bless!
    Leese in San Diego

  3. Ride it out. Don't plan to much and give it time. We adopted twice in 5 months. Our second trip to China was much worse then the first trip. I "tried" to return to normal and my body just couldn't do it. Our daughter who had traveled home once and adjusted to our time zone DID NOT adjust the second trip for almost 3 months. I dialed back on the extras - and slept.
    The trip looked wonderful and I'm so glad to see all the photos and follow along on your journey. Thanks for sharing.
    Cut yourself some slack and know it takes at least a week or two to recover.

  4. I literally stay up for 24 hours. If that includes the plane ride, wahoo, I'm ahead of the game. If it doesn't, it means coffee and quite a few walks to get me through the last seven hours or so...

  5. Anonymous1/07/2013

    It's late to do this but setting clocks immediately to the destination time and then operating accordingly makes a big difference. You need to do this the minute you go on your trip and the minute you get on the plane for your return.

    I would imagine that Tubadad has suggestions since he does this all the time.

  6. Any ideas about how to do a timeline starting at birth (our little one is from Vietnam) til now (age 6). My daughter doesn't want to talk about adoption!

  7. Do not come home with a newbaby with jetlag and twin babies waiting at home while grandparents bring over a new swingset to assemble the day after like what happened to us 6 years ago.

  8. outside outside outside-- and no naps!!!!

    1. The nap thing is killing us! We're trying so hard not to take naps, and failing miserably... I fell asleep this morning at 10 after getting only 2 hours of sleep last night and right after TubaDad (who just fell asleep on the couch) told me to stay awake today. Argh! :-(

  9. Sunshine!!! It resets the sleep clock thing in your brain. Bright Sunshine!!!!

    That being said, I've heard, and experienced, that it takes one day for every hour of time difference. For both of my adoptions, it was at least a WEEK before I felt human. I just slept and hung out, as best I could. Don't try to actually accomplish anything of import!!

    Loved the blogging of the trip! Awesome!!
    Snick :)
    dd Sunshine 12 in May, Vietnam
    dd Brilliance 6 1/2, China

  10. I've travelled to Asia and back countless times and my trick has been to keep myself super busy those first four days I arrive at my location. When I do sleep I take some kind of sleep aid like tylenol pm or melatonin that will knock me out for atleast 8 hours. So far this method has worked for me and I am usually back on schedule by the 4th day but it can be miserable in the process! Good luck!

  11. Sit out in the sun..if you can find any...get outside..That helped better then anything...I think I read it somewhere..Jetlag like to kill me but when I got out and absorb some sun that really helped.

    Tammy & Meisha

  12. It's afternoon sunshine that you need. Between 2 and 4 pm. Not sure why that works, but it does. Nap if you want. But go to bed like you normally do, get up when you normally do, and take a walk and go out and play in the afternoon.

    and know that in about 3 days either way you will feel better. So until then, don't make any life altering plans.

  13. Anonymous1/08/2013

    Believe it or not, vitamin D3, in obscene quantities and putting off sleep till later and later in the day will help. That's the whole sunshine theory in a gel cap, but not more the 20,000 IUs a day, as i think that is the cap on what your body (big or small) will make. And Shannon is right, the 2-4 PM is what you need, adjusted for the time change if california has one, i forget. A1

  14. I passed out the beach because MAN, that hurt. Late afternoon sunshine and lots of water got me through. But I didn't have kids who had schedules and needed things from me like...food. With kids? I'd just wave the white flag and fall over.

  15. This is SO not what I wanted to see today. I leave Friday evening for a weeklong trip to India (16 hours on a plane). And I have the worst cold ever. Yuck.

  16. I was lucky that I didn't have to be back at school for 2 weeks after we returned (I teach in a university, and it was early January), so I just walked around like a tired zombie for 2 weeks. I think that's all you can do!!

    I wasn't sleeping at the wrong time, though, because I never did fully adjust to China. I went to be super-early every night in China and was up at 3 am every day. But, I was just tired all the time for 2 weeks upon return.

    As Lisa, above, said, ride it out. The jetlag WILL end, eventually. My second trip was also much worse (jetlag-wise) than my first, but unlike Lisa, mine were 5 years apart, not 5 months.

  17. A trip east which is 3 hours earlier would help I'm sure!! :o) When do I pick you up?

  18. Sunlight. Sunlight. Sunlight. Get outside first thing in the morning and get as much sunlight as you can. Oh, I remember that awful jet lag.

  19. Shauna1/09/2013

    I know it sounds good to NOT plan things to do, but it actually helped me the other way around! I planned things to do to keep me and the kids busy all day so we weren't home to nap. I basically returned home at the earlier possible acceptable bed time and just crashed! A few days of that might work? The not napping thing was SO hard!

  20. Anonymous1/10/2013

    I always found the tiredness was bad enough, but every time I finally got to sleep at night, my bladder thought it was still daytime and I kept waking up needing to go to the bathroom!

  21. Sure hope jetlag is still not kicking your butts. All I remember when we came back in 2007, was to get outside and get as much sun as possible and to avoid naps. Thanks for sharing your experience, I now have CCAI earmarked for future use. Hoping to go back with our travle group when the girls are 9 and 10. Love all of your pictures.