Jet lag

This is going to be an even more mundane and rambling post than most here.

I just got back to CA last night from a vacation in Europe (Czech Republic, Denmark, and Sweden, to be specific). The trip was a lot of fun, but the jet lag I’m feeling now isn’t- Central European time is 9 hours ahead of Pacific.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning, and I’m pretty out-of-it- getting microwave popcorn from the vending machine and cooking it is about the most complex task I’m able to do today. I’m going to try to get through the afternoon without napping, too- in dealing with jet lag when I came back from my honeymoon in Italy three years ago, I found that that makes it harder to adjust to the time change.

Share your stories of jet lag with me, so maybe I won’t feel so dumb.

I get jet-lag bad. My last trip to Europe was almost spoiled by it. I spent the first three days in a mental haze, trying to adjust to running around in what was my body’s sleeping time. I think it can affect you emotionally, because I always feel rather paranoid and depressed during this adjustment period. Not to mention I can barely eat, because my stomach thinks it’s 2 a.m. right about the time we try to go to dinner, and I get nauseated. Trying to eat a big stuffy fatty Alsatian dinner the second night we were there was an exercise in lunacy. Add to this some horrific diarrhea because of travel stress and I’m not good for much when I first get there.

I don’t mind the reverse problems when I return, because I’m home and I can make adjustments. But when I’m over there, it sucks to lose out on fun vacation activities because I’m dragging around feeling sickly and weird.

I know people who claim that jet lag is worst on trips from west-to-east direction, when you arrive 9 hours too “late”. And I know people wh think it’s worst in the the east-to-west direction, 'cause you’ve arrived 9 hours too “early”.

Which proves my favorite theory: jet lag is worst on the return trip home. (no matter whether youv’e gained hours or lost hours). Because the real bitch isn’t the time change–it’s the fact that your vacation is over and now you have to do real-life chores again.

Forget the time change–try this experiment. Take a “flight” at home.
Sit in an armchair in your living room for 10 hours straight, without moving.(you are allowed to eat one meal and a snack on a tray in your lap. Invite a total stranger to sit alongside you. You are allowed 2 bathroom breaks,but you have to step on the strangers knees first.)
You’ll be just as tired and pissed off, without having to pay for a ticket.

I’m the other way around. I manage to adjust well enough when I go on vacation (though I probably do some comically stupid things that amuse the locals), but when I come home and try to adjust back to my normal schedule, I feel like crap.

Wickedly, hallucenagenically, unsettlingly real dreams, only a few seconds long but from somewhere deep, deep in my, clearly disturbed, psyche.

The kind of dream that wakes you like a jolt from sound sleep, to sit sweating on the bedside seriously considering giving up sleep altogether.

Then I would sit up, refusing to even lie down again, until I fell asleep in that position.

I only have this experience on the outbound journey and usually after 15+ hrs flying.

So far, it’s always been one shot and it’s over, and I’m left with more normal symptoms, wide awake and raring to go, one moment, unconscious the next.

I’ve got a 10 hour time difference coming up on Friday :frowning:

I find traveling east to be harder. Last Friday I went west to Guam (7 hours behind LA) I arrived at about 6PM got a quick bite and went to bed. The next day I was fine.
I am dreading my trip home in a couple of weeks.

I agree that traveling West-East is harder. Especially more than, say, 6 hours or so. As of now, I am trying to adjust from L.A. to German time and am having a hard time to convince my mind that it’s not 2 but 11 a.m. and I should apply myself to work (feeling like my head is wrapped in a rather fluffy blanket).

When we flew Brisbane to Dublin it was 40 hours between getting out of bed and getting back into the next bed. I don’t sleep on flights. Took days to adjust.

Sleeping pills or benedryl has really helped me.

Hope you’re not flying the plane.

Nah, just a passenger.

Woke up at 4am this morning, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Ugh.

You forgot the part where a total stranger paws through all your belongings. Oh, and you also forgot the part where you run through a maze as fast as you can, dragging a heavy suitcase.

I feel like my brain has turned into a rather fluffy blanket.