Jetlag + Unbroken = nocturnal

I feel like going to a new destination…any destination is pretty easy. Generally, flying abroad from the states you’re on an overnight flight where you can at least get a few hours of sleep. You land in your new country in the morning and just hit the ground running. Maybe going to the bed a little early that night, maybe taking it a little easy (no walking to the top of Sacre Coeur AND Arc de Triomphe). But it’s pretty doable. Then when you return home, that’s the struggle.

So going back to the Midwest, despite flying out in the morning (not the evening) was pretty easy. I slept a couple hours on the first flight to Newark. It was a long day (about 17 ½ hours) but when I got home around 6:30- I stayed up until a normal time catching up with family. Admittedly, the first week, regardless of how tired I was from running around all day into the night, I’d wake up around 7am. Then there were the days when I HAD to wake up earlier than 7. I think a couple days we got to sleep in until 10. (I love to sleep. LOVE IT. I could sleep all day, everyday…it’s a constant battle not to). But all in all, it was an alright transition.

Now the flight back over here- miserable. First flight to NJ at 2, leave NJ to Edinburgh at 7pm and we were only able to grab a couple hours of sleep. Then we had the never-ending (2 hours) drive up to Aberdeen from Edinburgh. We got in around 2. Passed out for 4-5 hours. Forced ourselves awake for some Lost and Chinese takeout. Then went back to bed and were asleep by 10pm. We slept until noon. Poor E had to work on the 30th and 31st. I was sleeping until 11am or noon these days…not only from jetlag but because I started reading Unbroken…and that book with the different timezones- I was staying up until about 2 am.

We made it past midnight on New Year’s Eve (hurrah- recap coming), got into bed before 2am. And then I slept until 3! E was up at noon apparently. He thought I had died in my sleep. We had a race on January 2 (recap coming) so I HAD to get up at a decent hour. But all weekend my hours were erratic, I was a super big laze ball, and had no reason to really adjust because I just wanted to stay awake with Louis Zamperini. (We did finally unpack our suitcases, I did about 4 loads of E’s laundry, went grocery shopping, did about 4 hours of work for my consulting gig, and got in my long run of 9 miles so really, not THAT lazy. Just not abiding by normal working hours.)

Well it’s the New Year (um 7 days in?!) and I really need to get my sh*t together. Scratched Monday (slept until noon) but was up at 8:30 yesterday and 8:30 today (though I stayed in bed snuggling Stella until 9). Still having the hardest time falling asleep at night at a reasonable hour though. It’s hard when yes, I have things to do every day. But most times nothing that HAS to be done at a specific time, or even HAS to be done.

Today it’s a 5 miler in horrific wind, laundry, some consulting work, and putting away the Christmas decorations. Tomorrow I have a 3 miler and some gym time, checking in on a friend’s house and a promised trip to the beach for Stella and I hope to tackle the office that was never put away. Friday, I’ve signed up for something that will sure to cause me misery and likely lasting pain- cardio tennis at 9:30 am with a friend and then I really MUST register for a doctor, heavily hydrate for Saturday’s 10 miler, meal plan, and finish the office (fingers crossed). It’s not a ton…but it’s still rough making it through on this wonky sleep schedule!

How long does it normally take you to get over jetlag? What works best to adjust to a different time zone?


  1. Goose67

    Hi we are relocating from USA to Aberdeen. Need to know what income is good for 3 people, what area to live in reasonable priced housing to buy near a good high school and surroundings. Need so much info. I am a South African married to a Brit that lived in SA since he was 7 and this is our third return to USA. Once in 2001, 2007-2010, then we lived two years in Montreal, then we moved to Kansas in 2013 and now heading out to Aberdeen to settle our daughter. So you see my need to find stability. Can you help me please? Just info and guidance and direction.



    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Hi Lynn,

      I’ll send you an email!


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