Jet Lag Dilemma: To Nap or Not to Nap? Reddit Weighs In

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Jake Cain is an entrepreneur and writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He spends his free time driving around the country in his late 90’s conversion van, affectionately known as the “Monster Van” with his wife and 3 boys.


Returning from a whirlwind two-week adventure in Thailand to the U.S. West Coast, a traveler found themselves caught in the throes of jet lag despite having slept for 8.5 hours post-arrival.

Fueled by three cups of coffee and still on the brink of exhaustion at 10:30 am, the dread of the afternoon slump loomed large.

The traveler turned to Reddit, sharing their predicament and a pressing question: should they keep up with coffee and sunlight to stay awake until bedtime, or should they succumb to a “wee nap” to shake off the zombie-like state?

What Did Reddit Users Say?

Jet lag, the inevitable companion of long-haul flights, became the center of a lively discussion on a Reddit thread. The original poster (OP), having endured a 16-hour non-stop flight, was battling severe fatigue and sought the collective wisdom of Reddit’s TravelHacks community to manage jet lag.

Reddit user dnb_4eva suggested abstaining from napping and, instead, recommended taking an anti-inflammatory to counter the brain’s response to jet lag. This advice was heeded by the OP who later updated the thread, attributing their alleviation of grogginess to the anti-inflammatory aid. However, no authoritative sources were found to back up this claim.

The thread was flooded with a gamut of suggestions. While user 10S_NE1 vouched for a short nap, especially for those accustomed to afternoon siestas, user IBJON stood firm on the no-nap stance, advising to hold out until the regular bedtime to adjust to the new time zone.

Amidst diverse opinions, some common ground was found in staying hydrated, avoiding excessive caffeine, and soaking up sunlight to resync the body’s rhythm, as pointed out by user truebluebluff.

What Do Experts Say?

Experts such as Mayo Clinic provide a different perspective on managing jet lag. They suggest other remedies that travelers might consider, particularly focusing on the regulation of sleep. Medications such as Benzodiazepines, for instance, temazepam (Restoril) and midazolam (Nayzilam), can be used during the flight and for several nights afterward to ease the transition into a new time zone.

These medications, often referred to as sleeping pills, can help manage the sleep disturbances associated with jet lag.

It’s also advised that travelers gradually adjust their sleep schedule to the new time zone before departure, stay hydrated, and seek sunlight during the day to help reset their internal body clock to the local time​

Did The Advice Work? 

The original poster updated the thread saying the anti-inflammatory recommendation worked well for them. They didn’t nap but stayed up until 7 pm, and by the next morning, they felt more adjusted to the local time zone. They were optimistic about being back to normal before returning to work on Monday.

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