JP vs. Jetlag

I have two approaches to dealing with jet lag.  Sit at my feet and learn from my wisdom.

Before we get started, some things to know:

  • Going west is easy, because you add hours to your day.  You fight the sleepies for a few hours, and then you go to bed and wake up the next day at normal time.  Adjustment happens fast.
  • Going east is hard, because you subtract hours to your day, meaning you have to go to bed when you’re not tired.
  • Sleep is only one cycle you have to deal with.  Don’t underestimate your other circadian cycles, like blood sugar and digestion.  There are some people who can ignore their blood sugar cycles and seem to suffer no ill-effects.  We call these people “vegetarians.”  They will get hungry on a different schedule than the rest of us; do not schedule your meals around their needs, or someone’s going to get hurt.

Approach #1:  Hit it Hard (4 day plan)

This is the approach everyone wants to hear about.  It’s good for when you have to be responsible: if you’re leading a group, have business meetings, etc.

  • Sleep with the curtains open.
  • Fix your schedule around three LOCAL time meals, including a huge breakfast.  When I say “fix” I mean eat meals at the same exact time every day.  Plan your days around it.
  • Drink water like it’s your job.
  • Walk around town while it’s daylight, as if your life depended on it.
  • No booze, no caffeine until you’re over jetlag.
  • If you’re tired, you FIGHT IT.

Approach #2:  Let it Happen (2 week plan)

This is the plan I’m actually doing here in Taiwan.

  • Sleep with the curtains open.
  • Fix your schedule around three LOCAL time meals, including a huge breakfast.
  • Drink water like it’s your job.
  • Walk around town while it’s daylight, as if your life depended on it.  Unless the rain is bumming you out, then just sit around like a lump.
  • Caffeine as much as you want. Booze… happens.
  • Nap when you feel like it, but don’t tell anyone.
  • Go to bed early.  Flake on friends if you have to.

Ok, this is the slow boat to normalcy, but I’m old and cranky, and I have no one to answer to.  I actually flaked pretty hard on my friends tonight.  We plans for 8:30pm, but I flaked less than an hour ago, by text message.

Here’s the deal:  my belly is full of soup.  It’s raining a gross, warm rain.  There will be beer and greasy food.  I could leave now, but I know that I’ll last about 90 minutes before bolting for a cab, graceful or not.  I’d rather just sit in my room with my a/c and my cable tv and fade without fighting it.

Is that lame?  Maybe it is. But in 25 minutes I’ll be asleep, and it will be sweet.  Tomorrow morning I’m meeting someone at 6:30am, and there’s no flaking on that.

One thought on “JP vs. Jetlag

  1. Pingback: Squirmy Saturday | you don't have to read v2.0

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