Someone (@philiplilly) asked me how I deal with jet lag. I fired off a quick answer ("adjust to the target time ASAP"), which I only later realized isn't what I actually do. It's what everyone else does. So here's what I really do:
I cut my sleep into two chunks, one corresponding to a normal sleep or wake time in the country I'm leaving from, and one corresponding to a normal wake up time in my destination.
So, for example, last week I came to Japan, which is eight hours off from California time. I slept only four hours, from 4:30am to 8:30am, which sounds like it must require intense discipline, but really it ends up being a necessity because I leave all of my travel preparation to the last minute.
By the time I was on my plane, it was 1:10pm in California, which is 5:10am in Tokyo. I waited for fifty minutes and then fell asleep, waking up four hours later at 10:00am Tokyo time. I don't usually find it easy to sleep on planes, but with only four hours of rest the night before, I drifted off while sitting up straight in my chair. Waking up was easy too, because I had accumulated eight hours of sleep in the recent past, which meant that I was fully rested with a normal Tokyo wake-up time.
Besides just waking up at the right time, I try to simulate it being morning as much as possible: I drink green tea, sit in front of my laptop at maximum brightness, turn on my seat light, and open the window if it's daytime. I also make sure to set my watch to the destination time before going to sleep.
This method is extremely effective. I was awake and alert all day upon arriving to Tokyo, went to bed easily at a normal hour, woke up at the correct time the next day, and have been on Tokyo time ever since. Give it a try!
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