Several months ago I read a post on Design Mom about avoiding jet lag. While jet lag is no fun, I seriously doubted whether I could (or would!) give up food for 16 hours just to get on a more normal sleep cycle. Flights across the Atlantic are long and boring, and for me, eating is a leisure activity. And, if we’re flying commercial I want to get my money’s worth: I watch every movie, drink every beverage, and eat (or at least try) every morsel of food I’m offered. Hey, I paid for it!
Funny enough, I stumbled on to trying this Jet Lag cure and it worked. Amazingly, shockingly, I’m-still-waiting-for-the-sleep-deprivation-to-kick-in (but it hasn’t.) Here’s my full report:
Sunday noon: Had a fabulous brunch. Delicious, greasy American food? I’m game. I had bacon, sausage, hashbrowns and an omlette. I did have a some fruit too, but eschewed the coffee (didn’t want the caffeine – plus I gave coffee up for Lent.)
Sunday, 3ish pm: Stopped at Meijr to buy snacks. Wandered aimlessly wondering what American junk food I should buy before returning to the land of not-so-much junk food. Didn’t go as crazy as I thought I would.
Sunday, 5:15pm: Arrived at passenger terminal and am told we should have been there several hours earlier. The stress of “nearly” missing the flight turned my stomach in knots.
Sunday, 7:00pm: Boarded the plane. I encouraged the boys to eat (hoping they will subsequently fall asleep and wake up renewed and refreshed when the flight lands) but my stomach is still in knots.
Somewhere over the Atlantic: I can’t sleep. The children have sleeping bags and the Airmen have hammocks but the writer of this blog has no place to lay her head. I can’t get comfortable sleeping sitting up. My feet are freezing. I had a vague thought of eating something but nothing really sounds good so I watched an episode of Downton Abbey instead. The boys are sacked out to my right and left.
Somewhere else over the Atlantic: I’m still not sleeping. I remembered the fast-for-16 hours article and realize I’m about 10 hours into it. Hmmmm, maybe I could do this…
Monday, 9:30am: Arrived in Germany. Dear Husband picked us up. I was a bit hungry but I’ve got German class so I headed there instead. I’ll admit I was a bit woozy but I stayed awake during class. (The instructor did give me a strange look at one point and says, “Are you okay?” and I nodded and muttered something about lack of sleep.)
Monday, 12 noon: Grabbed lunch – a pizza brotchen. Headed home.
Monday 1:00pm: Announced that we are all going to take naps. I fell asleep after about 15 minutes and sleep for an hour. The boys don’t sleep a wink.
Monday, 6:30pm: I lead Bible Study (thankfully it is a video!) and it’s close, but I did stay awake.
Monday, 10:00pm: Bedtime. Unlike my children, who were awake for more than an hour after going to bed, I fell right asleep.
Tuesday, 5:15am: 15 minutes before my alarm clock I woke up, ready for the day!
And bingo, just like that, I’m back on schedule. The usual rule of thumb is that it takes one day for every time zone, and we crossed from central U.S. time (on Saturday) to Central Europe time (on Monday), which is 7 time zones. In the past (this was my 5th flight from the U.S. to Europe) it really has taken about a week, whether we take naps during the day or not.
By the way, the boys ate and slept on the flight, and just as I expected, it took a week to adjust.