Travel Fatigue & Jet-Lag

I’m not completely new to traveling.  I’ve traveled all over the US, by car, plane, and boat.  I’ve spent months in Hawaii, lived in Alaska, Arizona, California, DC, and South Carolina.   I have lost track of how many times I have criss-crossed the “lower 48” (only 10 more states to go and I’ve been to every one!).  I once (with hubby and kids in tow), flew from the East Coast to the West Coast, then back again, in less than 36 hours.  Let me tell you, that was a rough trip, in more ways that I care to elaborate on right now.  I say all of this not to show off, but to help illustrate that I’m no stranger to travel fatigue & jet-lag.  I like to believe I’m not naive in this regard and fully expected it would take some time to adjust to the new time zone.

But holy hell, it’s been 10 days!!!

It took a good five days to recover just from the traveling.  The first three nights I was unable to sleep through the night, I’d sleep about 4 hours, be up for another 2-3, then crash out again for 3-4.  Those first few days were a blur and I felt like a zombie half the time.  All fuzzy headed.  Lethargic.  Struggling to stay awake throughout the day so I’d sleep through the night.   (I think the only one that didn’t have the same experience was Alpha. Then again, that kid would sleep all day if I let her. )

Now I find going to sleep is the problem.  I’ve done just about everything I know.  No caffein after 3pm.  No electronics (except tonight) after 9pm (including tv or music).  Leaving the blinds/curtains open so the room fills with sunlight in the morning.  Getting exercise.  Warm milk.  Meditative breathing.  Over-the-counter sleeping aids (that make me feel sick, so I’ve only taken them twice).  Nothing. Seems. To. Work.

Around 9pm (local) I’ll start to get sleepy, but I stay up because the kids have been having a hard time getting to sleep as well.  I don’t think all three have been asleep before 10pm since we arrived.  I’ll finally get to bed between 10-11:30, but sleep doesn’t come.  It hasn’t been until sometime after 1:00 that I’ve been drifting off.  Which leads to getting up late in the morning and then the whole day seems off kilter.

Beta has been having the same problem.   Poor kid just lays there in bed.  Some nights we let him read until he falls asleep, but most nights we just try to keep it quiet (with a fan running for white noise) and as dark as possible.  Tonight Hubby and I went to bed even though Beta was still awake.  After Hubby drifted off and I was still struggling to fall asleep, I got up and took Beta to the living room and watched Ted Talks with him.  He finally went to bed around 12:30.  Then, Charlie woke up from a bad dream.  Now it’s almost 1:00am again and I think I could fall asleep.  But I also know that Charlie, no matter what time she goes to bed, is an early riser and will more than likely be waking us up for breakfast sometime between 6 and 7.  At which point I will tell her to get her DS and play quietly until I finally drag myself out of bed around 8:30ish.

Most people that have gotten here before us say it’s taken them at least 2 weeks before they finally adjusted.  I keep thinking, “how in the hell do people travel like this for a week or two on vacation, then go back to work/school/life and function???”   I guess, if the 2 week thing holds true, I only have 3-4 more days of this, then things should return to “normal”.

Good-golly-Miss-Molly.  I sure hope so.

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2 thoughts on “Travel Fatigue & Jet-Lag

  1. Was surprised you are having so much trouble. Have been to Europe 4 times now (and Japan twice) and never had problems until coming back home. Maybe it was the excitement of being there and all the places I was getting to see. Hope you are back to “normal” soon.

  2. As one who is up all hours of the night I understand. I’ve been up here since 3:00 am, but mine is caused by pain and discomfort not jet lag. You might try Valerian Root or Benedryl if you haven’t yet. Hopefully your body clocks will reset soon.

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