Flying from the U.S. east coast to Europe causes the most severe jet lag for me, worse than, say, flying from the U.S. or UK to Australia.
The journey across the Pond takes a mere 6-7 hours, with most flights leaving at night. London is five hours ahead of New York, so a flight leaving NYC at 7pm, when it’s midnight in London, arrives around 6 or 7am UK time, when the body thinks it’s 2am — notwithstanding the cabin crew serving orange juice, coffee and breakfast in an attempt to trick you into thinking it’s morning.
As described in my Jet Lag Jambalaya post, the direction flown often is a key factor in the severity of jet lag. Flying west and ‘gaining time’ generally produces less jet lag than flying east; I’ve read that senior airline staff prefer western-bound flights. We definitely find flying west easier, with the kind of jet lag that results in waking before dawn and feeling sleepy soon after dinner. It always seems easier to readjust that way.
Flying east, on the other hand, means ‘losing’ time – resulting in the body wanting to sleep until lunchtime and then being wide awake until 3 or 4am, when it’s starting to get light this time of year in England.
This week, despite forcing ourselves to get up by 8am, being out and about getting natural light during the day and trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour – we’ve yet to overcome the lingering effects of jet lag.
Over the years we’ve learned jet lag is a powerful force and sometimes the body clock takes its sweet time to get back into the local time zone. I know it’s not the end of the world to be in this situation, but we’re looking forward to a good night’s sleep sooner rather than later.
We’ve more or less caught up on the practical tasks of returning home, but back in New Jersey, my mother’s leg wound is slow to begin healing. This is also keeping me awake at night, worrying as I do about how she’s doing (fine, she tells me) and if the medical team are doing everything they can to prevent infection and care for her (I believe they are). I’m thankful to know I’ll see her again in a couple months, unless she needs me before then. In which case … flying west.
Wishing everyone a good night’s sleep and sweet dreams wherever you may be.
Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from Felixstowe.
Filed under: Travel |