Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Top Twelve Ways to Beat Jet Lag

Jet lag, herein to be known as jetlag regardless of what the spell checker thinks, is often misunderstood. A bit of yawning, a missed night of sleep here or there and it's all okay, right? Heck no.

As a case in point, earlier this year I was talking to a friend of mine who flew from Vancouver to Amsterdam. She proudly proclaimed that she felt no jetlag whatsoever. Upon questioning she did admit that all the travelling had left her sick. She wasn't hungry, wasn't eating properly, had an upset stomach, and hadn't gotten much decent sleep. But she wasn't jetlagged!

To help travellers, I provide the following list of 12 ways to beat and avoid jetlag.

#10 - Flying west is easier than east. So if flying from Paris to New York, make your return flight via Los Angeles, Hawaii, Thailand, Dubai and then back to Paris. Voila, pas de jetlag!

#9 - Use multiple alarm clocks. Set them to go off 20 seconds apart and place them around the room in such a way that turning them off forces you out of bed and preferably down the hall towards the shower.

#8 - Stick to one timezone with fundamentalist fanaticism. If the sun in the sky says it's 6 hours earlier/later than your brain is expecting, ignore it. Book your business meetings at 11pm and force those you're meeting with to accommodate your timezone needs.

#7 - Drink plenty of fluids. The dry air inside the plane, the airline's chic new fusion cuisine, and the complimentary beer all contribute to dehydration. Said food is going to become a brick in your stomach as they feed you lunch at 2:30am. Water will help smooth the whole process later when it's time to... lay bricks.

#5 - Keep lists. Sleep deprivation will mean a loss of mental acuity. To make sure you don't start missing important parts of life, keep a properly ordered list and make sure not to miss any thing.

#4 - No sleep 'til bedtime! Seriously. Normally I would tell you to sleep when you're tired. (Like eating when you're hungry, or making love when you're happy, sad, warm, cold, excited or bored.) But if you want to get on board with your local time zone, don't let yourself sleep or even nap during daylight hours. Force yourself to sleep at night.

#pi - Eat at meal times. If you normally eat breakfast, lunch and dinner then keep doing that. You may find you aren't hungry but sit down and try to eat any way. Some of the worst symptoms of jetlag are gastro-intestinal. Your stomach expects different things at different times of the day (time to eat and time to rest, a time to laugh, a time to cry, turn turn turn). The faster you can reset the stomach the sooner you'll feel normal. (Note: "Resetting" one's stomach can be painful and/or messy.)

#2 - Coffee, and lots of it! Once the alarm clock trick has you out of bed, immediately flood your system with caffeine. Don't drink coffee? Try No-Doze or similar pills as favoured by long-distance truckers and late-night strippers.

And the single best way to handle jetlag?

#A - Don't fly!

I hope this has been helpful.


Kryte said...

U are SOOOO clever Morgan.
And strong.
And handsome.

I Dive At Night said...

Ending with the trivial solution was anti-climactic, wasn't it?


Kryte said...

it was...but ut dashing looks makes up for it...

I Dive At Night said...


Doug said...

Very helpful. #6, 3.14159265 and 1 are especially helpful in the diagnosis.

I Dive At Night said...

#6 suffered for the comedy of #5. #1 aka #A is rather trivial, but thankfully isn't another constipation reference. And I stand behind #pi as useful information. Even though it is one more reference to constipation. (Honestly, you can't have too many.)

Minka said...

LOL...That was hilarious..."lay bricks" had me literally on the floor.

Jetlag brings it out in you! Well done.

I Dive At Night said...

I fail to believe you were literally on the floor. If true, I hope the fall didn't hurt! :-O

Jetlag and I are old friends.

Anonymous said...

Quite the best such list I've seen. May I add acupressure a la www.jetlagpassport.com? It may be weird enough to work. And if you're a hamster, try viagra, if you're going east (seriously)(sort of).

I Dive At Night said...

Hi Anonymous, you may add that. Provided of course that neither you nor anyone else in your household receives direct remuneration from Jet Lag Passport. ;-) If you do, you owe me a penny, please.

I haven't tried accupressure yet. The list as it stands is my personal regime.

quilly said...

There is such a thing as too much pi.

I Dive At Night said...

Quilly, 2(much)pi? I believe you're confusing it with 2(r)pi also written as pi(diameter) which is the circumference of a circle, don't cha know?

While 2(much)pi is a perfectly good formula, it has no bearing in the real world.