April 21 2010 by Chris McGinnis
The older I get, the more I'm affected by jet lag which is not a good thing for someone who makes his living as a travel writer and consultant.
Over the years, I've tried every drug from Ambien to Xanax. I've gone the homeopathic route with various herbs, I've tried starving myself, I've avoided alcohol and of course, I've always kept myself hydrated.
I've tried sleeping with hotel room drapes open and taking long walks in the sunshine upon arrival. I've even tested an oversized visor with a battery-operated light under the bill that was supposed to offer some sort of "light therapy."
The sad news is that none of them really worked. I still get that prickly, woozy, sweaty feeling on my first few days overseas. I sleep soundly for an hour or so, then lie awake in bed for the rest of the night, and then feel a bit hollow and off my game the next day.
So every time I hear about a new substance or practice (other than denial) that might help ease the pain of jetlag, I'm eager to learn more.
Pretty soon, I'll head to Japan where I'll be staying at the new Best Western Shinjuku Astina Hotel Tokyo. It has all the things I've come to expect from a Best Western--a great rate that includes breakfast, free Wi-Fi and a perfect location in the heart of the city.
Maybe my hotel will be so perfect that I'll not have a lick of jet lag this time.
But just in case, I'm going to try something on this trip called the "StopJetLag Plan" which provides travelers with individual regimens based on their flight schedules and personal sleeping and eating habits. For a $35 fee, I visited the site, entered my flight information on a form and answered some questions about my daily waking and sleeping routine.
A few hours later, I received a detailed schedule to follow starting three days before my trip. Generally, the pre-trip schedule advises postponing caffeine intake until later in the day, and alternates heavy eating and light eating days. It also recommends the use of the supplement melatonin during the transpacific flight and on the first few nights in Tokyo.
So stay tuned! In a future post, I'll review both the hotel and my experience with the StopJetLag plan.