Sitting by the open balcony; sunshine through leaves, blue sky, sounds of the squicky bird, the windbell. Some car noises. Waiting for the courier to bring in my luggage. Tired, even after sleeping 12 hours, but no jetlag to feel.
No jetlag? Sty claims it is physiologically impossible to skip jetlag, but let me present the Method Yoe (as many others also have their methods for things) for avoiding severe jetlag and enoying long flights, both eastwards and westwards.
First, preparation for the flight (during the 24 hours before flight:)
1) do not eat meat or other ‘heavy’ food; eat fruits, vegetables, youghurt, etc. Why? You do not want to spend any unnecessary time in the plane toilet.
2) avoid alcohol. Why? You do not want to have a hangover. No you do not. Even a light light one.
3) do not drink coffee / tea / other drinks with substances that affect your sleep/wake cycle or liquid balance. I am quite sensitive to those, so I do not touch them at all; if you are already immune, a small amount probably won’t harm.
4) flying eastwards, it’s OK to sleep just a little on the night before so that you are *somewhat* tired; going west you should sleep well, if not long.
If possible, get the window seat. Better for sleeping even though there usually is nothing to see.
During the flight:
1) when the plane leaves ground, adjust your clock to the time zone of your target.
2) wear warm socks, warm but airy clothes, have a pillow you like (the U-shaped inflatable ones are actually nice, if you manage to find one you like) and a blanket or two.
3) organise your stuff so that you do not need to climb to the overhead baggage holder for anything.
4) do not touch alcohol, even beer; do not drink coffee or tea. Instead, every time the attendant asks “would you like something to drink, sir” ask for something like two grapefruit juices and a tonic. Drink a cup of juice or tonic every two hours at least; one every hour is not too much at all. The air is so dry that drinking this much does not force you to fight your way to the toilet at all. While most of the food you’ll be given is crap, it’s not very difficult to skip the meals; nevertheless, eat the salads/fruits/white bread that is given. They contain enough energy for you to survive while moving.
5) when your watch tells you it’s time to go to sleep (whatever time of day it is you want to sleep at your destination), put on ear plugs and eyepads, take a comfortable position ( I know this is easier for a small person like me, and especially if the seat next to you is empty) and keep your eyes shut for 5 hours at least. This is the most difficult boring part; but, the movies shown on board are usually nothing and quite often you get to doze off at least for some time.
I find that 6 hours is what is needed for a good shift of time zone; 5 already helps. If you have a method of falling to sleep that uses some muscle relaxant or natural products, you might use them; however, be aware that you should only use a very small portion of your normal dose since you do not want to sleep much more than 6-7 hours.
6) if you fly westwards, you might arrive during your sleep time. Don’t wake up, just zombie to your hotel and keep sleeping.
7) after waking up, open the window and let as much of light as possible to your eyes. This resets (at least partly) the cycle.
8) move your limbs every now and then – usually the plane screens show you some recommended excercises. Not only will you avoid blood clogs and going numb, but also you will sleep better. Toilets are a good place to practise step aerobics (if you’re small enough to be able to stand on the toilet seat); many jumbojets these days have special areas where you can walk, stretch or even lie on the floor.
9) enjoy yourself, relax, watch dvd:s. Do not work or worry. Not very often you have the opportunity to do nothing for such a long time. You’ll have the time to worry when the custom’s officer asks you about the contents of your luggage in a language you do not understand.
After arriving, again avoid coffee or other things that would keep you awake and be active until it’s time to sleep. Then, make yourself sleep long enough by whatever means you’ve got (in areas close to the poles where sun might shine through the night, you might consider again using the eye pads).
Wake up (alarm clock) next morning. And voilá! You’re InZone.
At least, this works for me. I do not jet lag.
And, even during this latest flights (25 hours from Helsinki-Vantaa to the customs at Narita), I enjoyed the flying. Could have flied several hours more easily. Especially the middle flight, from Amsterdam to Hong Kong, where I was not anymore flying away from Finland and not yet flying to Tokyo, but in a kind of limbo, or a state of non-existence.
Luggage arrived; got to go to work. *sigh*