Updated: Jan 27
This was written after day five of jet lag, and waking up at 3:00 AM. Statements might be completely true and accurate, or completely nonsensical. Read at your own risk.
Now, jet lag gets a bad reputation because . . . well, you wake up at random times and fall asleep at even more random times. It kind of gets in the way of doing things, like exploring things outside of your immediate vicinity. Or being awake when stores and restaurants are open. Or . . . well, being conscious when other people are conscious.
But there are some plusses to jet lag. I usually find jet lag makes me super productive.
Like, come on, I’m awake at 3:00 AM, and options are limited. It’s the only time in my life where I can roll out of bed, open my laptop and pump out an article like this (which may or not make sense, I know, but . . . I’m still awake and writing it, so it counts).
As someone who’s travelled from Canada to Asia, and back, and forth, and back, and . . . well, here are my top tips for owning jet lag and making it the most productive time (the “most productive” because once your body gets used to the time zone difference, waking up at any time of day becomes a chore again).
SUGGESTION NUMBER 1
Keep food and other necessities on hand. Sure, convenience stores might be open in the middle of the night, but maybe you won’t feel like heading out in pitch black just to feed yourself. So if you’re awake, and the stores are open, stock up . . . even if it’s just junk food. Especially if it’s just junk food (as someone who looks for any reason to eat potato chips, I consider jet lag a reason to eat potato chips. And dip).
SUGGESTION NUMBER 2
Just accept that if you wake up, you’re up for good. Sure, you could try and fall asleep again while thinking about Garak from Star Trek Deep Space Nine (am I the only one who does that?), but sometimes it’s just best to admit you’re going to be up and embrace the consciousness. You can fit those Garak dreams in later.
SUGGESTION NUMBER 3
Find some good entertainment because . . . well, when you’re awake in the middle of the night, it can get dull. Have something to occupy yourself with, be it terrible television (anyone else, like, really looking forward to A Christmas Prince, The Royal Baby?), the book you were meaning to read, or a writing project you were hoping to work on. Basically, just have something to keep yourself occupied so you’re not lying in bed for hours staring at the ceiling, waiting for morning to come.
SUGGESTION NUMBER 4
Use the time to talk with friends and family from the other side of the world! The people here might be asleep, but the people on the other side of the world are eating lunch. Join them for lunch for phone or FaceTime. Flaunt your potato chips while they’re eating a salad or something. Just . . . be careful not to wake up your neighbours with your talking, okay? Nothing says “obnoxious” like waking up people at 3:00 AM.
SUGGESTION NUMBER 5
Pick a good day to just force yourself to stay awake all day (preferably a day when you don’t have to be super alert due to a job or something . . .) This day of forced consciousness will hopefully result in falling asleep and staying asleep the whole night. Side note: isn’t it kind of funny that the goals to get through jet lag are the same as a newborn baby? Yenno, to sleep through the night?
So . . . anyway, I’m going to try and go back to bed. Wish me luck in falling asleep!
Today, I sleep like a (literal) baby.
Tomorrow, I . . . leave the apartment for a longer period of time, explore my surroundings, and enjoy Malaysia.