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  1. #1
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    Hannover Germany advice request

    I am planning to go 2 days to Agri Technica at the Hannover Fairgrounds, Hannover Germany, Nov 10-16. My final decision to go or not go will be based on completing harvest before I travel. That decision will be made in last week of October unfortunately (2 weeks prior). It will be last minute travel planning to a city holding a large exposition thus expect it shall be booked full at nearby hotels and Airbnbís. I am hesitating to book now because I dislike canceling and paying cancellation fees. I will be traveling elsewhere in Europe for a few weeks after the show. I would arrive a few days before attending the show to recover from jet lag (last time was a 2-3 day struggle, expect this time to be less stressful being my 2nd time in Europe)

    Advice request:

    Knowing accommodations will be booked full nearby, I have no problem commuting an hour by train to the expo. Any suggested cities? Using a dart on the map approach, Bielefeld has a direct train taking 1:07, ample accommodations at present.

    How precise is the German train system to the scheduled time?

    Any travel planning advice for saving money on airfare booked that soon to travel? (No frequent flier points, watched Skyscanner prices, not essential I save money)

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    We'll be in Germany at the same time, if you go! I'll be in a different part, though.

    Would you like a suggestion on getting over jet lag?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    Would you like a suggestion on getting over jet lag?
    That would help. The advice i am giving myself and planning around is "don't be awake for 30 hours straight before first night there" My past experience was waking up at normal morning time, late afternoon flight, unable to sleep on the plane, moderate layover to final destination, using public bus for second time in my life, and finding my accomodation with just a paper map, and settling in and falling asleep of exhaustion at like 7pm new time. Add those normal expected travel occurances with the new factor. New factor being traveling alone on my longest flight of my life to a new continent, everybody speaking varied language, different public ettique, and such. I think it was that primitive instinct of high alertness of new situation plus it was positive excitement of new continent, language, food, activities, time zone, etc. The second time will not have that new factor feeling to contend with so i will be more relaxed.

    Other things i will try this time is watch flight time and layover to coordinate to "go to bed at a reasonable time for my body, but precisely time it to a normal bedtime of new time zone." I did learn on my flight back that i still could not sleep on a plane then either.

    So any advice would be great.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    You're right, being surrounded by unfamiliar things, language, and people is tiring!

    YMMV, but a thing that helps me is to use a light box (a device that gives off light similar to sunlight) for about 20 minutes when I get up each morning in the new timezone to give my body the message that "hey, the sun is up, it must really be morning even if it doesn't feel like it." (I do something very similar at home, too; for me it isn't just for travel. I started out with just doing it in the winter on my doctor's advice to help with depression as well as helping with my sleep schedule, and I got in the habit so now I do it year-round.)

    The downside of this approach is that it does require packing one more item; I'm still arguing with myself whether to take my travel lightbox on this trip to Germany, because I'm planning to just take an A30 + personal item. The one I have is an earlier version of this: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07G1LPFD1/

    I also like this Mayo Clinic article's tips, including things like staying hydrated on the plane (it says say dehydration can make jet lag worse): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20374027

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    YMMV, but a thing that helps me is to use a light box
    I will read more about it. I read about those over the years and never looked into them. The best thing in my life is I don't wake up to alarm clock. I wake up daily at a usual time. I subscribe to simplify life to sleep when I am tired, rise when I feel awake, and with the seasonal exceptions of planting and harvest when I sleep when it rains.

    Curious before I read more, do you set your "light alarm" even when it is light outside naturally? Maybe it's my rural privilege, I don't have streetlights or city light pollution to contend with so I do not use black out curtains. The sun rises, I wake up.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by organicfarmer View Post
    I will read more about it. I read about those over the years and never looked into them. The best thing in my life is I don't wake up to alarm clock. I wake up daily at a usual time. I subscribe to simplify life to sleep when I am tired, rise when I feel awake, and with the seasonal exceptions of planting and harvest when I sleep when it rains.

    Curious before I read more, do you set your "light alarm" even when it is light outside naturally? Maybe it's my rural privilege, I don't have streetlights or city light pollution to contend with so I do not use black out curtains. The sun rises, I wake up.
    I do! The hours I want to keep don't always coincide with the sun's. Sometimes I get up before the sun (especially in the winter), sometimes I've been up late and want to sleep past when the sun comes up. It's a very different lifestyle than yours, it sounds like. This works for me and I don't want to switch, yet I can also understand something of the appeal of your lifestyle.

  7. #7
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    Generally I try to make it to 7 or 8pm local time before I go to bed, even if that means walking around to stay awake... get up at the local time's 'normal' morning if possible and get a lot of sunshine or use the light box as suggested.
    Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and super heavy meals that maybe hard to digest if you're sleeping... get plenty of water, and don't over schedule yourself.

    On the plane, even if you can't truly fall asleep, avoid the fake light stimulation of brightly lit screens. Close your eyes, put on an eye mask, wear earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, and fake it... daydream, listen to music, or read a real (paper) book... just try to chill. It's restful, even if you can't fully sleep.

    Normally on planes I chose aisle seats so I can get up and move around and stretch. But if it's an overnight or late night flight, get the window seat so no one wakes you up getting out and often you can rest your head on the plane wall to sleep/rest.

    Good luck - I hope the harvest finishes well and you get a place that works for this conference.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by organicfarmer View Post
    I will read more about it. I read about those over the years and never looked into them. The best thing in my life is I don't wake up to alarm clock. I wake up daily at a usual time. I subscribe to simplify life to sleep when I am tired, rise when I feel awake, and with the seasonal exceptions of planting and harvest when I sleep when it rains.

    Curious before I read more, do you set your "light alarm" even when it is light outside naturally? Maybe it's my rural privilege, I don't have streetlights or city light pollution to contend with so I do not use black out curtains. The sun rises, I wake up.
    Do you live at a latitude where the sunrise does not vary that much throughout the year? Iím curious because I live so far north that our sunrise varies between 4:30am and 9am. I control the light levels in my bedroom with blackout curtains and a light alarm clock. If I didnít do that, I would never sleep in summer and I would never get up in winter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Do you live at a latitude where the sunrise does not vary that much throughout the year? Iím curious because I live so far north that our sunrise varies between 4:30am and 9am. I control the light levels in my bedroom with blackout curtains and a light alarm clock. If I didnít do that, I would never sleep in summer and I would never get up in winter.
    Not this has to do with bags, but good thoughts.

    Midwest USA. Thing is I have more to do in the summer when the sun rises earlier so I tend to wake up and get going earlier. In middle of winter there are no crops growing, no field work thus no equipment breaks that needs fixing so I don't have much to do beyond paperwork and taxes. My body clock moderates a little in winter so I will wake before the sun comes up and in summer sometimes I will rise after the sun does. January and February historically are my nap months. Not really S.A.D. related though maybe it is, there are winter days I may have a morning nap and an afternoon nap and neither of which happen in summer. This all sounds well and good, but there are tradeoffs. If rain is pressing, conditions right, and crops need to get planted, there can be 40 hour days. There is often 16 hour days stacked together and the only vacation you get is a 6 hour run to get a replacement part at a parts warehouse as next day shipping is too slow. My life ebbs and flows with the seasons because crops ebb and flow with the season and attempt to live harmony with nature. To summarize, the old adage of crop farmer work 4x44. 4 weeks planting, 4 weeks harvesting, and 44 weeks on vacation. Not quite true but close.

    Reminds me of a article I read several years ago from the late Allan Nation, then editor of Stockman Grass Farmer (P.S. grass as in pastures where animals graze). Now I don't recall all the details, but he, a Mississippi resident I believe, was relating the productivity of the northern US to the southern US. The northern parts have a wider variation of daily sunlight being further from the equator. (longer summer days, shorter winter days plus colder winters and the south with hotter summers). The point he was making was the south historically had lower productivity of work from hotter summer days preventing work, but that in the south you could work year round. The northern US were forced to take a break in winter and this allowed rest and planning with a surge of ambition in the springtime. Nature was handing a human advantage to the northern residents. (He was more eloquent with the concept)

    I will personally summarize opinion from my perspective is the modern world has moved too far from what our ancestors just 125 years ago were living by the sun and sleeping by the night. Lights, high intensity screens, life schedules interfere with the human nature interactions. My personal pet peeve that I can't get over from my childhood is why does classes need to start at 7:30am? I have never heard a kid say they like 7:30 start times and a majority struggle to get going. Have the administrators never been a kid and realize it is not natural. I toured an 1800s schoolhouse and the presenter discussed the start time changed through the season. Ok end of rant.

    I am biased to the sun lol. Light alarm clocks are our substitute for the natural sun and a need in this modern world. I do one thing for certain is if I am at a hotel with streetlight or parking lot lights and the hotel doesn't have blackout curtains, I will not sleep well. (wearing eye mask would be too different for me to sleep well too) I just need to work on my personal definition of bedtime as it is now "the time I switch from my computer to my phone"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by organicfarmer View Post
    Not this has to do with bags, but good thoughts.

    Midwest USA. Thing is I have more to do in the summer when the sun rises earlier so I tend to wake up and get going earlier. In middle of winter there are no crops growing, no field work thus no equipment breaks that needs fixing so I don't have much to do beyond paperwork and taxes. My body clock moderates a little in winter so I will wake before the sun comes up and in summer sometimes I will rise after the sun does. January and February historically are my nap months. Not really S.A.D. related though maybe it is, there are winter days I may have a morning nap and an afternoon nap and neither of which happen in summer. This all sounds well and good, but there are tradeoffs. If rain is pressing, conditions right, and crops need to get planted, there can be 40 hour days. There is often 16 hour days stacked together and the only vacation you get is a 6 hour run to get a replacement part at a parts warehouse as next day shipping is too slow. My life ebbs and flows with the seasons because crops ebb and flow with the season and attempt to live harmony with nature. To summarize, the old adage of crop farmer work 4x44. 4 weeks planting, 4 weeks harvesting, and 44 weeks on vacation. Not quite true but close.

    Reminds me of a article I read several years ago from the late Allan Nation, then editor of Stockman Grass Farmer (P.S. grass as in pastures where animals graze). Now I don't recall all the details, but he, a Mississippi resident I believe, was relating the productivity of the northern US to the southern US. The northern parts have a wider variation of daily sunlight being further from the equator. (longer summer days, shorter winter days plus colder winters and the south with hotter summers). The point he was making was the south historically had lower productivity of work from hotter summer days preventing work, but that in the south you could work year round. The northern US were forced to take a break in winter and this allowed rest and planning with a surge of ambition in the springtime. Nature was handing a human advantage to the northern residents. (He was more eloquent with the concept)

    I will personally summarize opinion from my perspective is the modern world has moved too far from what our ancestors just 125 years ago were living by the sun and sleeping by the night. Lights, high intensity screens, life schedules interfere with the human nature interactions. My personal pet peeve that I can't get over from my childhood is why does classes need to start at 7:30am? I have never heard a kid say they like 7:30 start times and a majority struggle to get going. Have the administrators never been a kid and realize it is not natural. I toured an 1800s schoolhouse and the presenter discussed the start time changed through the season. Ok end of rant.

    I am biased to the sun lol. Light alarm clocks are our substitute for the natural sun and a need in this modern world. I do one thing for certain is if I am at a hotel with streetlight or parking lot lights and the hotel doesn't have blackout curtains, I will not sleep well. (wearing eye mask would be too different for me to sleep well too) I just need to work on my personal definition of bedtime as it is now "the time I switch from my computer to my phone"
    Well said, thank you. Makes perfect sense that if your life depends on the cycles of nature, then your own rhythms would too.

    And I completely agree that a 7:30 start time, decided upon for adult convenience (at least in my area) is not at all suitable for teenage body clocks.

    Travel-wise, I try to control the light and sounds of my environment as much as I can. I have worn an eye mask in the past but I donít see the light from the alarm clock this way so I prefer to have good curtains or a travel blackout blind in some cases.

    I have slept with a white noise machine since my eldest was born and still keep a red light on at night from that time as well. Red LEDs donít interfere with your sleep cycle so I recommend it to all new parents. You can see your baby in the middle of the night and also you can get back to sleep. I use a nightlight app on my iPad for this during travel.

    I would love it if some company would produce a travel light alarm clock the size of a deck of cards. I am a bit obsessed with the idea of something this size that is a nightlight, light alarm clock, and white noise machine.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    I would love it if some company would produce a travel light alarm clock the size of a deck of cards. I am a bit obsessed with the idea of something this size that is a nightlight, light alarm clock, and white noise machine.
    That would indeed be useful
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    YMMV, but a thing that helps me is to use a light box...The downside of this approach is that it does require packing one more item
    I believe there are also alarm apps that will use your phone screen as the "lamp" for this purpose.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by organicfarmer View Post
    Any suggested cities? Using a dart on the map approach, Bielefeld has a direct train taking 1:07, ample accommodations at present.
    I would also suggest Bremen as the city is much more interesting and there are fast trains to Hannover that will take about an hour. If you don't mind commuting a bit longer (the fastest trains will take about an hour) Hamburg is also within reach and you have one of the most interesting cities in Germany to hang out in the evening ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by organicfarmer View Post
    How precise is the German train system to the scheduled time?
    Unfortunately, that can be an issue. I travel a lot with trains and I have experienced all kind of delays. However, most of the trains are on time but if you absolutely have to be at your destination at a certain time I would rather take an earlier train.
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
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