Jet Lag. Or “I know why business travelers look like zombies”

It’s about a 16 hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong, and I left Chicago around 3:00 PM on a Thursday and landed in Hong Kong at 8:00 PM local time on a Friday. (7:00 AM Chicago time.) I dozed for a few hours on the plane, but it was a very restless sleep. Economy seats on Cathay Pacific’s 777 were similar to the economy seats on the US domestic 737s that the major airlines fly everywhere, i.e. they’re cramped at the hips and feet, and they don’t recline well.

After landing in Hong Kong, I traveled to Shenzen and managed to get to bed around midnight and slept for another four and a half hours with the help of 5mg of melatonin. Saturday was a long, fatigued day, and while I desperately wanted to take a nap in the afternoon, I forced myself to stay up until about 9:00 PM. Five milligrams of melatonin and I was able to sleep pretty soundly until about 5:30 AM Sunday. The jet lag hit HARD on Sunday, but again I stayed up all day, including a couple hours of (admittedly light) soccer with the other Americans here. Ten milligrams of melatonin Sunday night saw me drop like a sauce covered dumpling and sleep through from around 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

In the end, it took until about Wednesday to feel fully adjusted, but I was able to go out and do some shopping and eating the day after I landed, and play soccer two days later. I haven’t needed any melatonin since then, and I’m going to bed around 11:00 and getting up around 6:30, pretty much like I do at home.

1 Comment

  1. Kathy Mcclelland

    I love that I can visualize what you are experiencing through your writing. (I also love the pictures of the food) I can almost taste it.