Life Past Jet Lag

It’s taken three nights before Christian has stopped getting up for about 2 hours in the middle of the night perky and ready for the “day.” And another night of lots of waking, but not leaving the bed. But now with two regular nights of sleep under my belt, I feel ready to rejoin the living.

Whew. And to imagine that I was going to boast about how little jet lag I suffered when I arrived in Thailand. Normally, the jet lag is worst when I arrive in Asia, and not as bad when I fly home. But this time Christian and I painlessly adapted to our schedule in Bangkok, while my brother and Bella seemed dazed for several days; while it has taken me almost a week to get back to normal here at home.

My theories on how to avoid jet lag range widely, and ping pong back and forth between being completely sleep-saturated and rested before flying; and being sleep-deprived. I think now, that the first option is definitely the more effective one.

Typically before leaving on a big trip I am too amped up to sleep much the night before. Also, I frequently leave my packing to the last minute and often spend my last evening (and night) packing in a rush. This time though, armed with an advance (and long) list of things my sister needed from the States I started packing weeks before my departure. Meaning my suitcase was nearly completely packed almost a week in advance of my trip. Also meaning that the baby and I got many solid good nights of sleeping before leaving, so we were well-rested.

I was so well-rested, in fact, that I barely slept on the plane, though the baby did.

ALSO, my brother had been given a homeopathic remedy, an oral spray by Liddell Laboratories called JLg (Thank you Tara!), and I was the only one who ended up using it religiously every two hours during the flight over.

Despite the successful avoidance of bad jet lag on the way over, I tried almost the reverse on the way back. In an effort to break my sleeping pattern towards the end of my trip, I was staying up late at nights in Bangkok, sometimes until 3 – 4 am. The theory being that I was trying to break my body’s habit of sleeping during what is a California day before arriving in California. I don’t think that process was useful in the end, except for making me exhausted for my trip. Also I forgot an unreasonable number of possessions at my sister’s house. No regrets there though – had some great late night conversations alternately with my brother and sister – brother-in-law was always wise enough to hit the sack early. Furthermore, since I was traveling back by myself with the baby, it was harder for me to administer the Jlg spray, in fact although I had packed in my carry-on, I completely forgot about it.

I suppose it makes sense. If I wanted to prepare for an all-nighter, which is essentially what happens when I travel to a time zone 17 hours different than my own, I would get more sleep, not less.

So, in sum I need to remember to sleep well before my long trips to Asia and back. No more sleep experiments for me. I am getting past the age where a state of delirium is enjoyable, even when that state of daze is populated by dreams of Sookie Stackhouse and her various vampire lovers (did a whirlwind catch-up of True Blood while the baby was sleeping his days away).

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