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Jet Lagged

Back from vacation last week, I had to deal with jet lag.  Ten hours difference in time zones can have its toll especially when traveling eastward.  I tried a few things; some worked some did not and I wanted to share some of them with my fellow travelers.

Jet lag is when the body and mind confuse days and nights due to traveling across many time zoness.  For me coming back to Jordan, I would get sleepy close to 8 am in the morning, because it would be 10 pm at night in California.

The first few nights I tried Panadol night and it worked, but I did not want to use pills.  I regreted not buying a melatonin supplement from the US as they are naturally occurring hormones in the body and they help you adapt to new sleeping patterns.

I decided to try more natural ways.  I tried meditation, which got me sleepy alright, but as soon as I get to bed, I become alert again.  I tried breathing exercises.  They did relax me but not enough to get to sleep.  Stretching exercises where the same.  They made me relax but not sleep.

Then it was time for some mind tricks.  I tried counting backwards from 10 to 1 relaxing at every count.  Then had to do 100 to 1, but that also did not do it.  I also tried to use reverse psychology and try my best not to sleep while my eyes are open.  It is supposed to make you sleep.  Nope.  No luck with that.

Here are the things that actually worked.

Tai Chi Standing meditation worked nicely.  If you would like to try it, Here is a simple instruction on youtube http://youtu.be/zbEVmsTrMLI.  Amazingly it worked.

The best advice I got was from my parents who are used to making the trip “across the pond.”  Wake up early, at your preferred waking up time, regardless of how much sleep you got, even if none.  Take a walk and get exposed to the sun.  Do not sleep during the day, and go to bed at your preferable sleeping time.  That is tough to do, but works the best.

Any techniques you tried and worked? please share.

Good night 🙂

Comments (2)

  1. Great Experience. In my frequent travels, I had jetlag feelings but not the actual problem preventing me to sleep. One herbal medicine doctor told me once that when i need to sleep, I put all my thoughts and worries under the pillow to be picked-up as first thing in the morning when i wake-up. This is not easy but we practice one can, if we keep our mind empty of all things, sleep will automatically surround us.

    This was past, and now with 03 young kids, sleep seems to be a precious commodity and I can only get naps in-between the kids. The mind is tuned so much now that even if i am sleeping, i sometimes hear my kid asking in toilet to help and I jump out of bed. It has led to various complications though like tidiness, headaches etc.

    I would have to agree with Ammar as clocking ourselves with time to go bed and get-up is very important (some suggest no phone, pda, ipad in bedroom) and keep it very traditional so it’s just a sleeping place. Morning walk (a rare dream) adds lot of great impact to this and i have tried this while i traveled to California many years back and lived with a native US family who woke up for early for jogging followed by healthy break-fast.

    All this need is commitment and self-discipline.

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