Travel Hack: Beating Jet Lag

Delhi Belly

The time difference between India and the USA, Canada or even Argentina is a full twelve hours and from the UK or Europe it is about seven. So when it's eight in the morning in Toronto or New York and folks are just waking up, it's eight in the evening in New Delhi or Trivandrum - time for bed.

Jet Lag often means waking up often in the middle of the night full of energy but nothing to do. Marked by difficulty of not being able sleep soundly for a full eight hours. A rather annoying feeling actually.If you have this problem you may try taking some sleeping pills and load up on aspirin.

India does get up early enough, you can usually find a chai in the wee hours and by six am there is definite buzz of activity. By late afternoon you may be so exhausted than you can hardly stand. Better not fight it too much or you start seeing double. If your body needs to sleep then sleep, like a bobbing cork it will eventually right it self.

The rule is it takes one day to recover for every hour, so if it's 12 hours difference then it will take at least 12 days after you arrive in India to feel normal again.

The touts in Delhi know this when you arrive, your not thinking straight for a few days. This is the reason they are so persistent, so keep on your toes.


Jet lag for some may take only a few days to correct, while other, my self included find it takes ten to fourteen days to get back their bodys' circadian rhythm back in order. No doubt this is a mild to great inconvenience to many when you would rather be having fun.

So how do your prevent Jet Lag?

About two weeks prior to departure start staying up half hour later every night.

If normally you went to sleep at say 10pm, then add half hour you must keep yourself awake untill: 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 1:00am.

This is now one week past then it gets harder. You'll have to stay awake until 1:30am, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 4:20, 5:00, 5:30, 6:00am and wake 2:00pm in the afternoon for your flight that leaves that day. 

If you live in Europe you will only need to adjust until 2:00am.

(I should mention that hackers generally don't have jobs, so sleeping all

day isn't a problem.)

  The important point is that this is the gentle and gradual method of adjusting

your body to the dramatic time change of jet lag. Ratherthan sending it for a

shock with sleep deprivation by staying up as late as possible or by not doing anything and then dealing with the extreme jet lag in India when you should be traveling and having a good time.

By gradually staying up half hour every night the body will be fooled into thinking it's already living in India time already.

  • Block out your windows. It's a good idea is to get some black canvas or card board and completely block out your bedroom for sleeping. Use duct tap and seal up the edges completely, so as not allow any light to get it.
  • Go cold turkey from coffee, tea and any caffeine.
  • Make sure everyone in your house knows what you doing, so as not make any noise or wake you up during the day.
  • Unplug your phone.
  • Put a sign on your door warning people not to knock or ring the bell. 

If all goes well when it comes time for your flight, which often departs in

the afternoon and arrives late in evening, then you can go straight to sleep

and wake the next day fit and ready to travel and enjoy India to it's


Sleep disturbance can effect the immune system too, at home you can adjust

your sleep pattern with little stress of disturbance.

So if you can pull this travel hack off you'll be way ahead of the game in India.

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0 # jack55 2012-02-01 22:31
Personally i use sleeping pills. Take them when i need to sleep at 10:00pm or so. Sometime i sleep then wake up in the in the middle of the night around 11:30 or midnight. Then i say awake and take sleeping pill. This work okay to force the body back to change and sleep well and not be too crazy during theday.
0 # Don Perrault 2013-08-13 11:12
I have never met anyone who has successfully adjusted to a time change by preadjusting their sleep/biologica l clock. I use melotonen for 1 week. It corrects my sleep the first night. There is even a vegan version for people who are worried about prions.

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