Eurgh, the jetlag

by Suw on February 21, 2006

I've travelled quite a bit to the US over the last two years, usually for work-related reason – conferences, meetings and such – with a bit of holiday thrown in if I'm lucky. The last trip, to DC, was the other way round. It was definitely mostly holiday with just a few token meetings to make me feel like I was doing something more than just chilling out. Really, though, it was just chilling out.
So why is the jetlag so bad this time? I got to sleep around 1am last night, which is better than the 2am the night before, and 3am the night before that. Getting to sleep is proving to be highly difficult, even though I feel exhausted. And as for getting up again, that's hellish. It's taken me an hour from when my alarm went off at 8am to actually get myself into a sitting position and get the laptop open. That's just so not like me.
It's not like I have lurghi. All I feel is tired and out of sync, not sick. If I was sick, I could legitimately blame that, but I'm clearly not. I didn't feel this bad even when I'd been ping-ponging across the pond to San Francisco last summer.
I think it's because last year, I rarely had anything I had to get up for, so I never really had to get over jetlag quickly. It never mattered if I didn't wake up until 11am or didn't go to bed til 3am. Now, though, I have to be up, and be getting on with things because I have to be places, so I'm trying to force myself through the jetlag faster than my body can deal with it.
Can I just go back to bed and stay there please?

Anonymous February 21, 2006 at 10:13 am

I think most research shows that 1 hour/day is the fastest that the body will restore itself without help from drugs or light therapy…

Anonymous February 21, 2006 at 10:27 am

So I have two more days of this? Meh. I hope this means I'll be feeling more clear-headed by Thursday. Bit of a big day on Thursday. *sigh*
I need a holiday.

Anonymous February 21, 2006 at 4:44 pm

Suw, is it possible the biggest factor is not the shift in time zone but the desire not to be bossed around by an artificial schedule. I suffer from something similar, which I discovered when reading a book called *Time Management for the Unmanageable*.
Most people can decide to do a task of their own free choice, put it on a list of things they need to do, and go down the list doing the items and checking them off. Not me. I resonate with “No list is going to be the boss of *ME* …!” (even if it is my own list.)
If you suffer the same same malady the only thing I know to do is fool yourself into believing that you really and thoroughly wish to do the things on your schedule, or else change the schedule.

Anonymous February 21, 2006 at 5:08 pm

It's true that I do suffer from a chronic allergy to offices, and that exposure is a significant part of that allergy – spend too much in an office and I start to become twitchy, grumpy and eventually go into anaphylactic shock. But I really don't think that that's the exact problem this week. I think it's jetlag and stress.
Should all be over by Monday.

Anonymous February 21, 2006 at 11:34 pm

You need you some valerian to make you sleep at night, girl *pokes you in the arm*

Anonymous February 21, 2006 at 11:48 pm

Just start working shifts as I do – I feel permanently jetlagged.
A reminder if you go to the US and take advantage of the visa waver programme – remember to hand in your I-94W (the green card they staple in your passport) when you leave, otherwise the next time you go, they'll think you overstayed the previous time and you'll find yourself unceremoniously sent back here and banned from the US for 5 years + .

Anonymous February 22, 2006 at 10:14 am

I've been taking valerian! The last two nights, anyway, cos I didn't have any to hand til I went out and bought some.
Last night I managed to get to sleep around midnight, but woke up a lot during the night. But at least I didn't stay awake, I just turned over and went back to sleep. Got 10 hours in the end. Hopefully this is the end of it.

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