J – Jetlag Avoidance Plan

Jet lag is something that I am very familiar with.  And, in the best conditions, I am not a very sound sleeper.  In order for me to fall asleep, it must be pitch black, void of sound and about 65 degrees in my room.  Not an environment that I can easily replicate on an airplane.  Well, not until I get my own plane.  So, sleeping on the plane does not come easy for me.

That is why when I fly long distances, I employ my Jet Lag Avoidance Plan.

Step #1 – Get on the time zone you are going to as soon as you can.  I know if it is 10:00 am at home and 10:00 pm at your vacation destination, this step might not be realistic.  Unless you don’t have a job.  But, if you have a long flight in the morning, stay up the night before and then as soon as you get on the plane, go to sleep.
Step #2 – If you get to your destination at night, go right to bed.  (Ambien works great in this situation).  If you arrive in the morning, this is a little harder, but stay up.  Stay up as long as you can. 
Step #3 – You may be up at 3:00 or 4:00 am those first couple of nights.  Try not to do anything that is going to be to stimulating.   I take a hot bath and read until the rest of the world wakes up.  What ever you do, don’t get on the Internet.  You will never get back to sleep.  The idea is to drift back to sleep if even for an hour or two and then get up when you would normally get up. 
Step #4 – You are going to have that one day, usually the third or fourth day were you are going to be so tired it hurts.  I mean hurts like if you don’t go to bed, you are going to literally die.  It will hit you at about 4:00 or 5:00 pm.  If you can stay up, try, but if you can’t, go to sleep.  And sleep and sleep and sleep.  It will be the best, hardest most relaxing sleep of your life.  I look forward to those nights because I never sleep like that in my everyday life. 

Unfortunately, by the time you get acclimated to the new time zone, it will be time to come back home.  You can employ the same steps on your return trip, but why would you want to.  When you get back home, you can take your time getting back on your normal schedule.  Anybody ask why you are so tired, you just yawn and say, “Jet lag.”  But, trust me, you can only get away with this for about at week.

Unfortunately, my flight to Australia is an overnight 9-hour flight.  The issue is that Australia is only a 3-hour time difference from China.

The steps above don’t apply.  I just need to find some way to sleep on the plane.  Maybe I should get my ambien prescription filled before I go.