Time Travel

When I first arrive in Japan, jet lag is going to hit me – hard. To prepare for the literal reversing of my biological clock (7:30 pm is actually 7:00 am the next day?!), I decided to Google ways to both prevent and cope with jet lag.

… Turns out Google doesn’t have a lot of jet lag-prevention strategies for those who move to the literal other side of the world. Four or five hours in the difference, yes, but 11.5?! It seems like avoiding jet lag is a pipe dream.

That being said, I did find articles that say to drink one litre of water for every time zone crossed – which means I would have to drink 11 litres of water in 13 hours (yikes). I have found articles that recommend setting your watch to the new time zone as soon as you board the plane and trying to adjust your schedule to that time zone immediately. I have found other articles that say listen to your body and sleep only when you’re tired.  I have even found some articles that recommend hiking Mount Fuji as soon as you land (obviously an exaggeration, but any amount of walking after a 1.5 hour flight + 3 hour stop over + 13 hour direct flight + 2 hour bus ride is going to feel just as hard as hiking Mount Fuji!).

When this post is published, I will have already spent a day in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Yay for Weekend Orientation!) Of course, the minimal time change of 30 minutes is not anywhere comparable to the time difference between home and Japan, but it will be my third time zone change in seven days. To help minimize the effects of jet lag, I have been drinking lots of water. I tend to drink a lot of water in my day-to-day life, but I’ve increased my consumption since I visited NYC last week, especially on the plane rides. It has helped me to stay hydrated and has kept me feeling pretty good (so far!). I’ve also been setting my watch to the time zone of my destination as soon as I step foot on the plane. Obviously this might not work so well for Japan, but it has worked well for NYC, and I’m assuming it will work well for Halifax, too!

Unfortunately, my jet lag in Japan is going to be further complicated by the fact that I have to spend three days in Montreal first (1.5 hours behind where I currently live) before flying to Japan. Instead of learning to avoid jet lag, I’m thinking I’m better off learning how to cope with it. Dear body, I apologize in advance. Please don’t hate me too much!

Here is some more reading on jet lag and how to prevent/minimize it:

P.S. 30 days ’til Japan!


2 thoughts on “Time Travel

  1. LittleBlueDragonfly says:

    I’m going to leave my suggestions, but of course it might be a little different for you.

    When my three friends and I went to Japan last year, none of us experienced jet lag on the way there. We took the exact same flight (AC001), so I’m expecting a similar experience this time (except for the Montreal part).

    This is what I’m going to be doing:

    When in Montreal, don’t treat the time as anything different. We’ll arrive there and probably have meetings shortly after we arrive to the hotel, so just do the daily schedule, eat when you are hungry. The next morning we fly out at like 10am (so 8:30 your time, 9 my time) and even if we have to be at the airport a few hours earlier, it’s still not too bad. Trick your brain into thinking that’s the time to follow.

    Then, do not sleep on the airplane, at all. Take water every time they offer it to you. Eat only when you are hungry. Get up every once and a while to stretch your legs (I actually didn’t do much of that). By the time we arrive in Tokyo and get to the hotel, it will be dark and we will be exhausted. Your brain will think its just nighttime, just set an alarm and get up in the morning well rested, and completely adjusted because you just tricked your brain’s clock.

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