I used to hate jet lag and cringe every time I think about my trip return. As I’ve gotten older (against my will!) and my responsibilities grew (inevitably with life), I realized I get a lot more done if I just get up earlier in the morning by an hour. You can argue that you get the same amount of work done at night when you sleep late. I used to think the same except my efficiency proved me wrong AND there were always last minute obligations that interrupted my evenings of productivity.
SO I figured out the easy part, I prefer to get up early in the morning. Now the difficult task, I can’t sleep early enough. I may have succeeded a few attempts of getting in bed early but I was never able to sustain it. Yeap, I felt good for a day about sleeping early and next day I go back to my “good” old routine. It seemed that my body was just wired to go to sleep past midnight! This was a vicious cycle that was almost impossible for me to break. Well, that was until my most recent trip!
After I got back from my recent trip, instead of complaining about my jet lag, I started to appreciate it because it helped me break out of my late night sleeping habit! HARRAY! It looks like I’ve been able to sustain it pretty well this time. The trip was to UK which has a time difference of 8 hrs with Pacific Time Zone. So around 5pm, I was starting to feel tired and by 8pm I was ready to pass out! The first day was extremely difficult to stay awake but I knew I had to stay up until a reasonable hour or else I’ll wake up ridiculously early and won’t be able to get back to sleep. On the first day back, I fell asleep a little past 9pm and I was able to sleep until 5am without waking up. Next day, I went to sleep at 9:30pm and woke up around 6. The day after I was able to sleep at 10:30pm and got up at 6 as well. I find my body/mind functions very well with 7:30-8 hrs of sleep so anything additional would be somewhat of a waste in my opinion. Everything I used to do such as workout, read, late dinner, well I took this opportunity to change them up a bit. Late night dinner became early dinner (or rather ON time dinner), end of day workout became early morning workout, reading/learning is also a lot more effective in the morning than at night! 🙂
Haven’t thought about how to deal with jet lag from other continents yet but I would probably attempt the same routine. Now days, I feel totally recharged in the morning and I’m getting a lot more done before noon and THAT FEELS GREAT! 😀
There is always something positive to every unpleasant situation and this is the benefit I got out of jet lag. A blessing in disguise, shall we agree? XD