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jetlagged 09-27-2016 05:26 AM

is this jetlag or something else more serious?
 
I'm from California, 34 year old male. I just came back home to California. I spent January to September traveling Southeast Asia, Australia and Japan. I flew from Japan to San Francisco with a 4 hour connecting flight layover in Philippines.

Flight left at 1130 pm in Philippines and arrived in California at 8 pm. I stayed at the airport arrival area until the following day (because I didn't want to pay over $100 for 1 night at a hotel) to catch the greyhound bus to my local city. Needless to say I tried to sleep at the airport, but couldn't sleep at all. I arrived at my home city at 4 pm. All in all it took almost 48 hours of travel time including the transit and layover and staying in airport


I've only been able to sleep 4-5 hours at a time. I would go to bed at 10 pm and would wake up at always the same time at 230am to 330 am. And i can't get back to sleep no matter what. So I just stay awake on my bed reading or browsing the Internet on my iPad. It's 4 am as I type this. I spent the whole day awake. I try to avoid taking naps in the afternoon coz I know I won't be able to sleep at night. I took fast dissolve melatonin and Benadryl but the results were the same. I can only get 4-5 hours of sleep. If I take a nap in the afternoon, and take melatonin and/or Benadryl at night, I can't even sleep at night. So no naps for me.

When I was traveling, I would like to say I averaged about 7 hours. I would sleep past midnite at 1230 am, and I would wake up at 7 am. I would wake up feeling rested, and felt it was adequate.

But I just don't know what to do. Sleeping at 10 pm and waking up at 3 am is so annoying. By afternoon around 3 pm I feel so sleepy. I resist the urge to take a nap. What can I do? Is this jetlag? Japan is 16 hours ahead of California, and I read online that for each timezone, it will take my body 16 days in my case to adjust. I'm anxious what if I never adjust.

I've had jetlag before when I was a teenager, traveling the same direction, Philippines to california, and it took me about 20 days to adjust. During that time, I only slept about 2 hours a day even after taking melatonin.

I admit, I have been feeling anxious as I prepare to look for a job in the next 2 weeks. (My mom and her side of the family has a history of undiagnosed anxiety, so maybe i have it too) Also after traveling for so long, a lot of Changes has happened. Most of my friends have moved to another city or out of state and I don't see them as often. Times are changing. Traveling long term was so great, now that I'm back in my local city which is a dusty brown very hot desert town, I feel kind of down as well. It's only been 8 days since I got back home, but I'm still trying to adjust to life.

any advice on how to at least get to sleep and wake up at 6 am. I'm afraid if I stay up until midnite to sleep, I'll just wake up at 3 am like I usually do lately.

MSNik 09-27-2016 06:01 AM

Re: is this jetlag or something else more serious?
 
Hi there. You have already stated that this has happened to you before, so it is logical to think that it is happening again. Flying across the world will take allot out of anyone, but spending the night in the airport as well, just intensified it.

You will be fine- it will just take a few more days for your body to readjust. In the meantime, continue doing what you are doing- RESIST the urge to sleep in the afternoon. Stay awake until your normal bedtime and go to bed. If you wake up 5 hours later, do not get out of bed until you have tried to relax your mind and body with deep breathing exercises (in through the nose out through the mouth) for a few minutes. Try to go back to sleep. If after 30 minutes you really cannot sleep, get up and do something. No browsing on the internet or watching TV. The blue light emitted from your devices or the television is also screwing up your brain's sleep cycle. Get up and dust. Get up and do some laundry and stay in the laundry room until it is time to put it in the dryer. Read an actual book, nothing on a tablet. Do anything except what you are doing! You really are pushing your sleep cycle further out of wack by staying up and surfing the net.

Give it a few more days and try hard to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. During the day if you can add some exercise to your routine, it will help you sleep as well. Even a long walk can tire out your body and clear your mind.

Good luck!

jetlagged 09-28-2016 07:41 AM

Re: is this jetlag or something else more serious?
 
Thanks so much for the reply. Thats definitely some great advice there. I'm definitely craving for some long sleep. It doesn't even matter if its only 5-6 hours (though i'd like 7-8 hours or more), as long as I wake up at 6-7 am. No more of this waking up at 3 am business lol.

I went to bed tonite early. I don't remember what time, but I'm thinking between 9 and 10 pm. I woke automatically at 3 am again (i'm hoping I got 6 hours of sleep at most) I did some breathing exercises, but had a hard time relaxing and getting back to sleep. I spent yesterday awake from 3 am until 9 pm (18 hours of being awake). I went out for a jog to get some exercise at 730 am, spent about 35 minutes. The remainder of the day, I stayed indoors in the livingroom studying an online class on my laptop. I had all the window blinds and shutter open all the way to get as much light and sun as possible.

To give you an idea of the time I sleep and wake up in california as compared to Japan.

9-10 pm in California is 1-2 pm in Japan (Japan is 16 hours ahead)

3 am in california is 7 pm in Japan

I'm going to try something different today. Go Jogging in the morning again at 730 am. and walk around the block for about 20 minutes in the afternoon. I'll try to avoid sleeping at 9 pm to 10 pm. Instead I'll try to push it back to 11 pm. Hopefully I can stay awake until 11 pm tonite, coz that would have been 20 hours of being awake by that time. Usually on average in the past, after being awake for 16-17 hours, I'm ready to hit the sack.


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