Jet lag experience from American visitors

disneylover102

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
People who have gone to DLP from the US, how quickly do you recover from jet lag so you can enjoy your time at DLP? I've never traveled internationally but I've heard jet lag takes a while to recover from. I think I'm better at this kind of thing than normal, because last year I had a redeye flight to Los Angeles and I went to Disneyland California the whole day and wasn't even tired because I was too excited. But I assume jet lag adds quite a bit of fatigue to a redeye flight and you need quite a bit of sleep before you go to the park?
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
If you flew to Los Angeles, you flew to the West (in the same direction as the sun), that can feel different from Flying to the East (against the direction of the sun).

Jetlag differs per person, depending on physical condition, age, etc, but also how many time zones you cross. The time difference between the East and West coast of the US is only 3 hours, that will feel different from the at least 6 hours time difference you will have in Paris.

And of course will you be able to sleep on the plane? Being in a comfortable fully flat chair in first class will give a different jetlag than sitting upright in a tiny seat in Economy.

If you have never done this route before, it could be you are full of adrenalin to keep you going, but I would suggest to take things slow and see how your body reacts to the flight.

If you Google tips about avoiding jetlag you will find plenty of tricks, but if they will work for you, you will not know till you get off the plane.
Drink plenty of fluid, avoid alcohol and caffein, don't stress and get a good night sleep the night before.
 
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BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
I do the opposite every year, Im European and fly to Disneyland California. @Karin1984 is correct about flying in the direction of the sun. When I land in LAX, Im ok, tired but not knocked out. I have often gone out to a restaurant with my friends the evening I arrive.

Flying to California from Europe = 11 hours flying time minus the 8 hour time difference.
Plane departs Dublin Ireland at 3pm and lands in LAX at 6pm on the same day.

This makes it easy for your body clock to reset, as you can go to bed at a regular time

When I come back to Europe, its totally different.
Flying to Europe from California = 11 hours flying time plus 8 hours time difference
Plane departs LAX at 8pm and lands in Dublin at 2pm the next day.
It feels longer as you have spent the "night" in the plane.
By the time I get home Im totally out of it. I try to stay awake until a normal bed time, but my body just wants sleep.
 
  • DisneyJac

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2018
    I use jetlagrooster.com to help me fight off jet lag. You plug in your departure and arrival times and it works out a schedule for you to make minor adjustment in the three days leading up to your trip so you aren’t as impacted. Have used twice in the last year flying from West Coast Canada to Europe and was the best I’ve ever been with jet lag... hardly any at all. I also take melatonin when the site recommends it.
     

    disneylover102

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2017
    Thanks everyone! I should’ve mentioned I was actually flying east to Los Angeles from Hawaii (we went to Hawaii for a trip and with a layover in LAX on the way back home, I just couldn’t resist going to Disneyland!).
     

    cedricandsophie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2014
    We go to Europe a lot. And we’re not good plane sleepers even in business. I wouldn’t plan too much that first day. From Chicago most flights leave mid to late afternoon and get to Europe early morning. So when you land at 8 am it’s about 12 or 1am at home. We generally drive a bit, see a site or two and then get to hotel for an early dinner and bedtime. Usually the second day you are much more rested if you are able to sleep. I have started taking Advil PM to help me get s good nights sleep the first night. And sleep until we wAke up so we avoid an early morning that first day.
     
  • RangerPooh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    Just got back and the jet lag that we experience from flying from Florida to France was practically non existent. This said, it was the jet lag that we experienced once we got home and were back in Tennessee that has been kicking our butts! Everyone is ready to be asleep at 8:30pm and is up at 3:30am. It's been rough.

    Edit: This was posted on Sunday, it is now Wednesday morning and can tell you this, we're back to going to bed around 10pm, and have FINALLY slept in until 5am. Would prefer 6am, but It's MUCH better than waking up at 3:30am!Only took a week to get back normal.
     
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    Donalyn

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2008
    It is very hard to predict. My family took three days to not be super grumpy about the time change going from the US to Rome, even when we followed all of the advice. Me, on the other hand, I was doing okay by the start of the first full day in Rome.

    As other has said - I wouldn't plan must for the first day (the arrival day), other than dinner (we did a food tour). Then the next day, I couldn't get them up to go do much until late morning.

    And for us, going west is better than flying east.
     

    sturner324

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2011
    We are flying from US central time to Paris in a few weeks for a packed 2 weeks of adventure across Paris and the UK starting with 2 days at DLP. We arrive at 6am, and will be going to the park that first day. Maybe we are crazy... and maybe it will be a life lesson. But I figured a day at Disney would be less stressful (more familiar) than touring a foreign city, and we would be near the hotel if we have to pass out. I’m hoping adrenaline will kick in and carry us through that first day, haha!
     

    E&As Mom

    Disney Loving Mom
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    We flew from Toronto to Milan in June (and then of course, back again 10 days later) and I frankly was surprised at how well we adjusted and as quickly as we did. Our flight left at around 10 p.m. Toronto time... we slept as much as we could, but obviously, sleeping upright is difficult. We were all a bit tired that first day, but lasted until between 8 and 9 p.m. Milan time before we all crashed for the night. A bit sluggish the next morning but we were all too excited for our real trip to begin. Coming home, we left at around 2 p.m. Milan time. The first night home was a little hard, but I think we all sort of forced ourselves to nap a little here and there on the flight home (we had a 6+ hour drive from Toronto back to Ohio after we landed). We were ready for bed by the time we all got home (around midnight or so Eastern, so 6 a.m. Milan time), but we all slept well and we were adjusted within a day or two of being home. It was better than anticipated, but everyone is different!
     
  • cwis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2016
    We've experienced jet lag the opposite last January: we live near DLP and visited DLR. We found out that the Timeshifter app really helped us reduce issues with jet lag. You install the app on your phone, and a few days before, it tells you hints to adapt to your forthcoming trip: avoid caffeine, avoid light, etc.

    In fact, we liked the app so much that we actually paid a 1-year subscription. We're going to WDW next week and can't wait to enjoy an almost jetlag-free voyage!
     

    cgh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2011
    We just got back from Europe yesterday, and I had no issues with jet lag there or back. Generally, the thing is to stay active the day you get back and stay up until 2 hours or so before your regular bedtime. Same thing on return. We started our European trip in DLP for that reason. Easy to go around DLP, do an early dinner (at 5), then kids were in bed at 7:30. Woke up at 8 and we were good to go. Way back we did the same and it was a bit harder in that we were just home so really had to stay up until 7 pm again. I feel fine today. My husband tends to have more issues.
     

    Mike_M

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2008
    This may not work for everyone, but I’ve found it works for me when traveling east.

    When I travel to Europe (from US West coast), I never can sleep on the plane so I usually plan on pushing myself as long as possible to stay up when I arrive (generally until 6pm or so) and when I just can’t take it anymore, I head to the hotel, take a sleep aid (so I can sleep as much as possible) and pass out.

    Day two on, i’m generally adjusted to the time zone and do well the rest of the trip.

    So, my recommendation is to keep at least the first day as one where you aren’t planning much that is important. Wander around some, look for good restaurants or cafe’s, and just enjoy getting accustomed to your surroundings.
     

    cwis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2016
    This may not work for everyone, but I’ve found it works for me when traveling east.

    When I travel to Europe (from US West coast), I never can sleep on the plane so I usually plan on pushing myself as long as possible to stay up when I arrive (generally until 6pm or so) and when I just can’t take it anymore, I head to the hotel, take a sleep aid (so I can sleep as much as possible) and pass out.

    Day two on, i’m generally adjusted to the time zone and do well the rest of the trip.

    So, my recommendation is to keep at least the first day as one where you aren’t planning much that is important. Wander around some, look for good restaurants or cafe’s, and just enjoy getting accustomed to your surroundings.
    That's exactly how we do it with DW, and we feel no jet lag on the second day. In fact, we always go home from USA (to France) on Sunday, and work the next Monday.

    Once again, I would recommend the TimeShifter app. We used it on our (current) trip to Florida and DW was impressed she didn't even had to take a nap on the first day.
     

    _19disnA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2018
    My experience is much like those above. Flying westbound you gain time and it seems easier to adjust then when you fly eastbound and lose time. The effects vary by person, so your experience may not be the same as others. However, I do try to avoid those 'red eye' flights when traveling eastbound as it takes me longer to adjust once I get back home. If you have choices of flights try to pick those which travel during the day and perhaps lets you sleep during the flight also making the time pass quicker. Non-stop flights, when practical, also cut down on your total travel time. I would avoid having a busy schedule the day you arrive after an eastbound flight.
     

    Chickinvic

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    You might not really have issues. I have never experienced jet lag. When we flew from Montreal to Ireland (red eye) I had no issues, nor on the way back. Everyone is different. Have a great time!
     


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