Jet lag advice


Well-known Member
Hi all,

We'ee travelling to Denver in the Summer and would welcome some advice but how to manage jet lah/when to sleep etc.

We leave Heathrow at 2.40pm and arrive in Denver at 5.30pm their time (1.30am our time.)

My question is should I/when/how long to sleep on the plane?

We're hiring a car and begin travelling the next day so need to be as refreshed as possible.

Probably isn't helped by the fact that we got a cheap upgrade to First and I REALLY want to make use of the bed!!!


Usually for me the jet lag affects me most when returning from the US travelling east


Well-known Member
I wouldn't sleep on the outbound flight just try to stay awake when you arrive until about 10pm when you are there. Then you will get a good nights kip.

I do find adjusting when you get home the hardest too.

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
Bit hard when you've bumped to first, but I would recommend not drinking alcohol on the flight... Try to get as much water on board as you can.


Distinguished Member
Endure and have a good sleep when you arrive. I went to New York a few years ago, came off a night shift and went straight to the airport - 8hr flight then had to wind the clock back about 8hrs on arrival - ended up being awake for something like 40hrs :eek:


Distinguished Member
We did a trip to Colorado a couple of years ago and we flew home from Denver.
I find the second night hardest when travelling to the US. The first night is easy because you're knackered!
My advice would be not to sleep on the plane and get to bed asap after you arrive. You'll probably wake up a little early in the morning but you can be first in line for breakfast!


Distinguished Member
Flew to Denver direct from LHR last Sep with United (Dreamliner). 11am ish arriving at 2pm local time.

Didn't sleep on the plane but dozed a bit since i'd been up since 1am to get ready/down to Heathrow etc.

I held out till that evening (say 9pm local time). By that time, i'd been up for around 27 hours.

Had a good nights sleep till say 8am the next morning and that was that. Good to go.

I wouldn't sleep that much on the plane (though i've only ever flew cattle class so sleeping isn't generally an option anyway :rotfl:) as i'd want to get a good nights rest when I got there.

Never really had jetlag going out to the states (in my 2 visits). It's on the way back like the Mod says:smashin:

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Jet lag is always worse coming back as it's usually the end of the holiday. Going out you work through it as you have the holiday to come!

Also, I've always had overnight flights coming back and you can never sleep on a plane. Going out it's just a longer day.

Deleted member 275754

Going west and arriving at their tea time, jet lag shouldn't be an issue.

I bet you don't even bother sleeping much on the way out. You can drink okay if you're not picking up your car till next morning, but even then and driving upon arrival I don't see the problem in having wine with your first meal and then backing off/slowing on the drinks.

Just get to bed soom after you arrive. I would even say sleeping on the way west too much beyond little naps is a bad thing because you might not sleep properly in hotel night one - not good the night before driving.

First class is typically four grandish discounted. Congratulations on whatever amazing deal you must have got ! I thought you were trying to save money as well lol.

Coming back you'll really benefit from a flat out sleep. Otherwise that journey is tiring, as much as anything because of the timings and the way going east works. Wow a First Class bed - that'll be fantastic !

How much did the seats cost each ?


As above - just stay up as long as you can on the way out there.

Done NYC and Vegas plenty of times. Vegas was 6am leaving Edinburgh and we arrived in Vegas after a 3 hour delay in New York - was 10pm Vegas time (6am body clock time) - stay up for a couple of hours and get some sleep. Was fine for 5 days.

Coming home is harder but just sleep if you can on the flight home, but I usually don't get comfy for that so it's arrive home at around 8am/9am in the morning - grab a couple of hours sleep and try and have a normal day and bed at a normal time.


Well-known Member
Jet lag tends to worse when travelling east. It is easier to adjust to a longer day (travelling west) rather than a shorter day (travelling east). In any case it is best going to bed and getting up at the normal time in the location you travelled to as far as possible to sync yourself into the local time as quickly as possible. When travelling to the US from Europe it is best to just stay awake until your normal bedtime in the destination local time.

Deleted member 24354

Travel to the US a couple of times a year. As others have said, flying West is OK, flying East is the harder journey. Dont drink alcohol on the plane or the airport, drinking plenty of water, hydration reduces the impact of jet-lag. Get plenty of exercise the day before you fly back, I have found it helps as you are going to be sitting for 8+ hours.


Well-known Member
Try melatonin tablets. They are freely available over the counter in the US. I've found they are a superb way to manage sleep cycles without the knockout punch of sleeping tablets.

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