Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Surviving Eastbound Jetlag

I would give anything to be this woman right now.

I wish I could say that coming home to Egypt was easy.  But right now I am dealing with a baby who was wide awake at one o'clock in the morning.  And the fact is that it isn't easy.  Not easy for me and not easy for him.

And not just because of my son being unable to sleep.  It's me too.  I just can't sleep.

So then when I finally do fall asleep, I sleep like the dead until mid-morning where I suddenly wake up in a panic thinking that the entire day has gone by without me even realizing it.

For some reason this time adjusting back to Egyptian time has been really tough.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because we arrived in Egypt at 4:30 AM, went home and went straight to bed as if it was the end of the day instead of the beginning of one.  So since then we (at least my son and I) have been off a little.  Time-wise, that is.

So in case you've never experienced it for yourself, let me paint you a picture of what jet lag feels like...

You feel like a zombie at 4:00 in the morning because you can't close your eyes.  Your mind sees the darkness and thinks, I should really be asleep.  You close your eyes and instead of feeling the calmness of the silence, you suddenly feel itchy all over... and DYING of thirst... and your mind is racing a mile a minute with all the things you need to do.

Then when you DO fall asleep, it is way later than you should be falling asleep so technically you should only be sleeping for a fraction of the time you will actually sleep.  And then you end up sleeping more than you should have in the first place!

The solution?

Well with regards to my son, I am denying him that second nap so that he will be sleepy enough to sleep through the night when I finally put him down for bed.  But for myself, I seem to have broken all the rules.

Eastbound jet lag has definitely been tougher than westbound jet lag this time.

Here's the thing about westbound jet lag.  You arrive sometime in the afternoon (that's just how it works with flights from Europe) so the sun is still up.  There is something about sunlight during the middle of the day that helps you adjust quicker.  So when we arrived to KY this time, my son and I took a lot of daylight walks (as in, walks during the daylight.)  And we were busy too, another thing that helps you recover quickly from the time change.  Apparently going right into a schedule actually helps you to adjust quicker because you really don't have much of a choice in the matter regarding getting up and going about your day.

My husband is finding this 100% true because while we came back to Egypt to sit and relax at home, he was up early every morning going to work.  I think he was more exhausted in the beginning, but now he is already fully adjusted while we are still struggling to fall asleep at night.

But I have a few ideas in mind that I hope will work:
1. Go to bed at a consistent time every night.
2. Get up at the same time every morning.
3. Get up and get ready for the day (shower, breakfast, etc.) immediately.
4. Get out of the house early in the day (during the brightest sunlight hours).

Wow!  That list will take a LOT of discipline and even more umph to get me through the day ("umph" is my more technical, more accurate word for energy) than I realized...

Maybe it would be easier to just go take a nap now.

After all, I earned it.  What with all that hard work I just put into writing this post...

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