European jet lag – the best sleeping drug there is

plane alcohol jet lag
Preparing for the entry into European jet lag

I love European jet lag. LOVE. IT. If European jet lag was a food, I would eat it daily, if it was a cream, I would lather it all over myself, and if it was an alcoholic drink, I would be perpetually intoxicated. Probably not many people say that they love jet lag, but let me be clear on the type of jet lag I’m talking about here – I’m talking about the jet lag you get when you travel from Australia to Europe, not the other way round (west, not east).

People who know me well know I’m a terrible sleeper – I suffer from bouts of insomnia and even when that’s not a problem, I’m such a light sleeper that I wake at every noise, so much so that I usually wear earplugs at night.

Going through European jet lag is one of the few times I actually don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll be able to sleep. Because I know, that when I get off that plane and finally lie down, the gentle jet lag beast will be waiting beneath my bed, using his soft, caressing claws to gently pull me down into deep slumber, literally minutes after my head hits the pillow.

Lying in bed those first few nights after I arrive are bliss – my eyes become impossible to keep open, my head takes on the blissful, fuzzy dizziness only achieved through supreme tiredness or drugs and my whole body just feels heavier and heavier until it has no choice but to succumb to the beast.

Invariably I encourage the beast. I entice him to hang around longer than he should. While I realise that to get my body clock back in line as quickly as possible and shrug off his hold on me I should attempt to stay up as close to a reasonable bed time as possible, that’s not what I do. Whenever my body is ready, say 7:30/8:00pm, I just go to bed and let him take me. Obviously that means I wake up insanely early, but what does it matter? I’ve had a full nine hours sleep, I feel fantastic, and I have a couple of extra hours in my day! And last Thursday, this translated to me leaving work at 3pm because I’d finished my hours for the day – winning!

I only wish jet lag could hang around a bit longer – I feel like we would both benefit from some kind of a long-term relationship. But alas, after a few days, my eyes stop feeling so leaden at night, the beast’s pull weakens to a whisper and the words no longer swim around my kindle as I read before sleep.

And so finally, I must farewell the beast, bid him on his way to go and find another traveller to entice. But damn it was good while it lasted.

On an end note, I can’t even begin to tell you how nasty I find the jet lag when I’m travelling to Australia, especially given I’m predisposed not sleeping under normal conditions! However on my recent trip, I seem to have finally discovered the solution – a stopover in Sri Lanka cures all. I highly recommend it and you can read all about it next week!

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