Here’s what I do to deal with jet lag. I don’t go to sleep much before I travel. I think I was a hamster in my past life. I’m the type who wants to get every last project done, every last dish washed, every last chore behind me before I head out the door. I ruminate. I become more compulsive than usual.
Sometimes, I stay up so late that going to bed may not make sense. That’s what happened before the good-deed travel Mexico trip. It got to be 4:00 a.m. and I thought, I’m getting up in two hours anyway, so why bother? I slept on the plane on and off, and went to bed early the following night. When I travel across time zones, this staying up late makes me tired enough that the jet lag is not as noticeable. I’m thrown off already, what’s a bit more?
When I was living in Singapore, one of my closest friend’s parents visited from the U.S. They are the hearty, cross-country skiing type who stay on a scheduled routine. Their answer to jet lag was to go on a long hike through the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve almost as soon as they arrived at our apartment. Our complex edged the preserve which made hiking there pretty darned convenient. They went to bed when they normally do, and seemed not to suffer much. Getting out in the air and sunshine is one way diminish that groggy, disheveled feeling.
There was an article recently in the New York Times that explains how a combination of coffee and naps can help thwart jet lag. I suppose this is what I do, but less scientifically. I always order coffee and a club soda when I fly. Coffee for the boost, and soda water for the hydration. It feels fancier than regular water. Anything one can do to spruce up travel in my opinion.
The photo is of my 2nd cup of coffee on the Southwest flight. It’s slightly out of focus, but then, so was I.