One with jet lag

Jet lag is a killer, but you can fight back.

As a kid, I remember distinctly the effects of jet lag. One trip in particular had me fall asleep on a bench along the Champs-Élysées at four in the afternoon. My family waited for me to wake back up, patiently munching on baguettes. Another had me tour around zombie-like for 42 hours because I simply couldn’t fall asleep.

The same kid who couldn’t sleep on planes for the life of him is now out in a heartbeat. Mitigating jet lag is a combination of: sleep at the right time, plenty of water and small meals, and caffeine, but not too much.

Coming back from Italy last June, I fought jet lag by running around the Coliseum late at night. I was sufficiently tired by my 6 am flight that I slept the entire way home. Given how timezones work, I landed in Portland mid-morning, drank my Earl Grey, worked a few hours, drove to Sunriver, and was convinced to do a half-marathon the next day.

Last week plus change, Leah and I flew to Tokyo. For me, it was the day following a return from New York — I had a total of 11 timezones to deal with. Our flight out was at 8 pm local and arrived 10 pm local. I slept six hours on the plane, spent a couple hours in transit to our hostel, and then slept four more hours. On our first day in Japan, we managed a full day of sightseeing.

Today, I’m back in Portland, rocking to Kyary Kyary Pamyu, and, having been up since 2 am, keeping my fingers crossed that my theory holds.