TIL Jet Lag!

Today I learnt, the exact way in which jet-lag works and my mind is boggled. I had the weirdest, worst possible understanding in my head. And I realized today, how wrong I was.

I basically thought, your body clock matches the clock of the place you land. All you have to do, is catch up on sleep.

For example, if you are flying to London from India and reach London at 11 pm, India time, which is 6:30 pm London time, it is just perfect, because now, you can immediately fall asleep and not wake up till 7 am, London time, which is 11:30 am India time. Now, you are all caught up on sleep.

If you are confused, don't worry. This is the wrong explanation.

The real explanation is this. Just because the time shows you gained 5 hours, does not mean your body knows that. (That I did not know this, when this is the exact definition of jet lag, is something so strange and surprising that I am amazed). You don't want to wake up till 7 am London time, but you will get up at 2:30 am London time, because it is 7 am in India. Time to get up. And no, just because it is dark outside and because your alarm did not ring, you cannot force yourself to sleep again.

Matters get worse, because when it is 7 am in India and you are still sleeping in London, you have reminders, in the form of notifications on the mobile - 
Maid has checked in to the apartment complex, 
good morning whatsapp message from the Uncle who never gives up, 
message on the close family group - what are you all doing today, 
message on distant family group 1 - forward of the day sent by uncle #2 who never gives up, 
message on distant family group 2 - forward of the day sent again, by uncle #3 who received it from Uncle #2 on another group,
Times of India's friendly reminder of headlines in the morning along with a subtle hint that newspapers still exist
A crying appeal from the work-out app - please work out today
And so on.

It is so mind-boggling that I got it wrong for so many years. I cannot believe I did not know the exact meaning of jet-lag till now, despite having travelled so many times.

What can I say. I learnt something new today and it's exciting.

Also, I am jet-lagged and I know it. Yay!


  1. Oh I can easily sleep till 11:30 am, I am sure my body clock will not have me "awake" at 2:30am. It would be two rounds of sleep maybe after I quickly eat something and then go back to sleep. I can do that :D

    I am a Sleepoholic. Haha.

    1. Thats pretty cool. I am back now and in the second round of jet lag. :-/

  2. Thankfully so far jet lag has not troubled me so much.. I hit my head on the pillow and its zzzzzzzzz time ..


  3. I used to travel frequently on job. We cannot avoid jet lag. But we can lessen the effect. The one thing that helps me is to drink lot water in the plane and avoid alcohol because the airplane environment will dehydrate you. If you are not dehydrated, the effects of jet lag will be minimal.

    If you reach London at 6:30 pm, try to stay awake and sleep at around 10 pm London time. You can do this if you are able to sleep in the plane.

    It will be hard if you are going from west to east. I don’t know the reason.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Rare Talents

The Subtle Art of Breaking News

New Year Vibes