Je dors plus la nuit

Why do the effects of jet lag always feel so much worse in Europe?
Whenever I’m in the US, I go to bed really early and wake up around 5 AM.
When I get back to France, I go to bed at 5 AM and it sucks.

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  • rachel

    ugh i always find that traveling from west to east makes my jetlag about 8 times worse than the other way around!!

  • rachel

    ugh i always find that traveling from west to east makes my jetlag about 8 times worse than the other way around!!

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com David

    Well, it depends on how far you go East or West, but your internal clock is more lagged when you go 6 hours East than when you go 6 hours West.

    When you go to the US, you wake up at 5AM because your brain thinks it’s 11AM, so it’s high time to wake up. Same thing at night.
    Back in France, when it’s 5AM, your brain thinks it’s only 11PM.

    The way I found to not be so lagged when I travel East is to be… even more lagged!!!
    That is not sleep on the plane (well, even if I wanted to, I can almost never sleep on a plane, because of the noise or I’m not sure what), but then as usually the plane lands in the morning, to not sleep at all all day long no matter how tired I am. When night comes, I’m so exhausted that I crash, and tend to wake up in the morning the following day.

    It worked the last times I flew back from the US, as well as when I went to Japan (from France, so traveling Eastward) last Spring.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Day Ten: May 27th – The Last Day =-.

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com/ David

    Well, it depends on how far you go East or West, but your internal clock is more lagged when you go 6 hours East than when you go 6 hours West.

    When you go to the US, you wake up at 5AM because your brain thinks it’s 11AM, so it’s high time to wake up. Same thing at night.
    Back in France, when it’s 5AM, your brain thinks it’s only 11PM.

    The way I found to not be so lagged when I travel East is to be… even more lagged!!!
    That is not sleep on the plane (well, even if I wanted to, I can almost never sleep on a plane, because of the noise or I’m not sure what), but then as usually the plane lands in the morning, to not sleep at all all day long no matter how tired I am. When night comes, I’m so exhausted that I crash, and tend to wake up in the morning the following day.

    It worked the last times I flew back from the US, as well as when I went to Japan (from France, so traveling Eastward) last Spring.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Day Ten: May 27th – The Last Day =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Hi Jennie,
    I have the same problem each time I go back to North America. So I can relate !!
    Last year, I was waking up very very early in the morning and I was disoriented each time( not knowing where I was );

    That always sucks to end such wonderful trips like this…
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Send your healing vibes- please ! =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Hi Jennie,
    I have the same problem each time I go back to North America. So I can relate !!
    Last year, I was waking up very very early in the morning and I was disoriented each time( not knowing where I was );

    That always sucks to end such wonderful trips like this…
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Send your healing vibes- please ! =-.

  • http://ausoleillevant.blogspot.com/ au soleil levant

    I feel that the time change gets harder to acclimate to the more overseas trips I make. The first time or two that I flew between France and the US I got over jet lag reasonably quickly, but the last two times I’ve done the trip it’s been really hard to recover and get on a good schedule. Good luck sleeping!
    .-= au soleil levant´s last blog ..Day Trip to Chartres =-.

  • http://ausoleillevant.blogspot.com au soleil levant

    I feel that the time change gets harder to acclimate to the more overseas trips I make. The first time or two that I flew between France and the US I got over jet lag reasonably quickly, but the last two times I’ve done the trip it’s been really hard to recover and get on a good schedule. Good luck sleeping!
    .-= au soleil levant´s last blog ..Day Trip to Chartres =-.

  • MrDolomite

    Jet lag is always a pain, but it may be worse because of the conversion to metric time :)

  • MrDolomite

    Jet lag is always a pain, but it may be worse because of the conversion to metric time :)

  • http://language101.com/ David

    Jet lag may be worse going east than west, because your circadian rhythm is probably about 25 hours instead of 24 hours. So travel to the west is slightly easier than travel to the east.

    My current cure for jet lag is as follows. Take the food supplement melatonin (3 mg) at bedtime on the flight if it’s a night flight and try to sleep. 2. Immediately upon arrival adjust my sleeping and waking attempts to the local. 3. Take a big big cup of coffee at my normal wake up time at my destination but no other caffeine all day. 4. If possible, run or walk briskly but only in the morning at my destination. 5. Take melatonin at bedtime every day for the number of days that matches the number of time zones I have shifted. If possible get in some bright sunshine in the morning at my destination.

    This has worked like a charm for me and I really don’t suffer from jet lag when I travel any more.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Language Learning Software =-.

  • http://language101.com David

    Jet lag may be worse going east than west, because your circadian rhythm is probably about 25 hours instead of 24 hours. So travel to the west is slightly easier than travel to the east.

    My current cure for jet lag is as follows. Take the food supplement melatonin (3 mg) at bedtime on the flight if it’s a night flight and try to sleep. 2. Immediately upon arrival adjust my sleeping and waking attempts to the local. 3. Take a big big cup of coffee at my normal wake up time at my destination but no other caffeine all day. 4. If possible, run or walk briskly but only in the morning at my destination. 5. Take melatonin at bedtime every day for the number of days that matches the number of time zones I have shifted. If possible get in some bright sunshine in the morning at my destination.

    This has worked like a charm for me and I really don’t suffer from jet lag when I travel any more.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Language Learning Software =-.

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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