…at least, that’s how I interpret my complete lack of mastery of jet-lag these days. I remember my first few trips from the midwest to the UK (6 hour time difference, 8 hour flight) I would get to England at 9 am and resolutely stay awake until about 9 pm, thus adjusting well. Nowadays I seem to NEED a nap when I arrive, and so yesterday my day looked like this:
12 pm. Arrive home.
1-3:30 pm. Nap.
4-6 pm. Grocery shop, check mail, eat.
7-9 pm. Read news on the internet, have a bath, discover that I can’t stay awake any more.
9:30-11:30 pm. Nap.
11:30 pm – 2: 30 am. Wonder why I can’t get back to sleep. Check the internet. Read a book. Toss and turn.
3 am. Sleep, finally.
This all made the going off of my alarm clock this morning painful (even after it was generously scaled back from 7 am to 8 am at about 2 am when it was clear things were not going well). Fortunately the next few days have few meetings, and those have been strategically set for times when I think I can be awake without napping. It’s the 3 am sleep time that is the most troubling; I’ve noticed this before when I tried the opposite tactic and took a day-time flight, leaving the east coast of the US in the wee hours of morning and arriving back “home” at about 10 pm. I then did not miss a night’s sleep, the way you do on the overnight flight, but I found that it was no sleep until 3 am for a full week. That had some dire consequences for 9 am meetings. So I don’t know what the answer is any more. I’m clearly both older and less ruthless about staying up and not napping after the overnight flight, and so I really have to just calm my expectations that all will be fine. I don’t know why I try to insist that I am impervious to jet lag, clearly I’m not. And until I get enough miles/points to start upgrading to business class with lie-flat beds, I can guess this is not going to improve. Thank goodness I’m home with my super good coffee machine. Although both on the plane Monday night and in bed Tuesday night the real problem with sleep was actually that my knees were creaky and uncomfortable, probably the result of all the exciting exercise I got in the US. And–oh yeah–the fact that I’m not as young as I used to be.