Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Making jet lag work for me

On our trip over to Ireland, we did all the jet lag prevention things we'd been told. We slept a little on the plane, drank water, rested, ate lightly. When we arrived (11 am), we stayed up and kept moving. We went from the airport to the train station and took a 4-hour train trip to our destination. We settled into the airbnb apartment we were renting and went for a long walk and got some dinner. We played cards and stayed up until our real bedtime in the new zone. And while we were tired the next day or so, we were on the new schedule without any real difficulty.

Not so with coming back. It was an equally long day and an equally long flight. I slept a little twice on the longest leg into Portland and then stayed up when I got home and went to bed at my regular time. But I only slept about four hours, and at 2 am, I was wide awake and wired. And while the nights did get incrementally longer (2:30 am, 3 am, etc.) as time went on, it took most of a week to get back on schedule.

At first, I was really annoyed when I couldn't get back to sleep. I knew I'd get dreadfully sleepy in the midafternoon and be wide awake in the deep dark night, but then I just relaxed into it and started getting all kinds of things done. I started a new novel, cleaned most of my drawers and closets, got laundry done, my checkbook reconciled. I made the most of the time. It's amazing what you can do in those hours.

I'm back to regular sleep now and having to give up the afternoon nap habit, but I was glad I could make jet lag work for me. My place hasn't been so tidy in a long time.

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