The Jet Lag Diaries

Title card - Jet Lag Diaries []

2017 did not get off to the best start for me. Those first few days were great: we relaxed, visited friends and family, and then returned back to Leeds. I anticipated a small bout of jet lag, but never in my wildest nightmares did I anticipate an episode that would last 8+ days and eventually turn itself into acute insomnia.

It started off as expected. After an overnight flight where we dozed on and off, Dave and I arrived home in Leeds and immediately fell asleep. I knew I was supposed to stay awake as long as possible to readjust, but my brain and body had other plans; I just couldn’t fight the weight of my eyelids. I spent that first afternoon/evening back, dozing on and off on the couch, before staying up until 3 AM watching Homeland.

We both went back to work immediately. I thought this would help with the readjustment, and it did for a bit. We were going to bed late and waking up a little later than normal, but it wasn’t anything crazy.

Until it was. 

Saturday I woke up early, puttered around for an hour or so and then fell back to sleep. Next thing I knew, we were waking up at 1:30 PM. Shocked, we vowed to kerb this behaviour and set the alarm so we could actually accomplish something on Sunday.

Sunday we were groggy, but I pushed through the tiredness as it would be temporary and within a few days I’d be back on track. Or, so I thought.

Over the next few days, I struggled to sleep through the night. After easily falling asleep, I found myself waking up and hour or two later, full of energy. I’d spend the next few hours tossing and turning, reading and counting sheep, in the hopes that I would fall back to sleep with enough time before the alarm to make it worth it.

Jet Lag Diaries []

As the week wore on, I watched the circles under my eyes darken and my face drain of colour. Exhaustion is not a good look for me.

I was desperate for a full night’s sleep. I did research. I ate certain foods while avoiding others. I tried to identify what could potentially be weighing on me and keeping me awake (this was frustrating as the only thing I felt stressed about was not sleeping) and wrote them down to free my mind. I exposed myself to sunlight at specific times. I even tried wearing sunglasses inside to trick my brain into thinking it was sleep time.

I followed all the rules, and when that didn’t work, I ignored all the rules.

It seemed as though nothing was going to help. So, I gave into insomnia.

When I found myself awake in the middle of the night, I’d turned on my iPhone torch and I’d read. I quietly turned pages, trying not to disturb Dave, and let my mind escape into Bill Bryson’s adventures. If I couldn’t sleep, I could at least enjoy those moments and live vicariously through someone else’s adventures.

Slowly, as the nights wore on I started to sleep a little more until finally, one night I closed my eyes and didn’t wake up again until the following morning.

Who knew seven consecutive hours could make one petite so happy?!

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4 thoughts on “The Jet Lag Diaries

  1. javealife says:

    Always best to just get inline with local time as soon as you get there, even if you are dying on your feet stay up until its local time to go to bed


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