Beating Jetlag

One week to go until the biggest race of my life – The ITU World Triathlon Championships in Auckland, and I’m still here in wet, grey, dreary West Wales. I won’t actually get to Auckland until Thursday afternoon and the race is early on Monday morning so I only have a few days to adjust to the 12 hour time difference once I’m there. Jetlag could be an issue come race day

However, I’m a terrible sleeper at the best of times often getting no sleep at all and rarely getting much more than 5 hours a night so hopefully I’ll cope OK. I woke up at 3am this morning and then lay in bed thinking about the time difference and if I could get up now and use this to my advantage to start adjusting to New Zealand time before I get there. My thoughts went something like this.

  • If get up at 3am today (Monday), that would be 3pm in New Zealand.
  • Get up a couple of hours earlier tomorrow (Tuesday) which would be 1pm in New Zealand
  • Wednesday – get up two hours earlier again – 11am in New Zealand
  • Thursday – get up 2 hours earlier again – 9am in New Zealand
  • Friday – The first full day in New Zealand and I’d be getting up at 7am

That sounds like a pretty good plan to me, so that’s why I’m sat here in front of a blue light writing this blog post at 4am. The blue light is supposed to lower melatonin secretion and make you feel awake as you would during the day. Essentially tricking my body into thinking it is daylight out there. Who knows if that works, but it sounds sensible to me.

Flight MH1

Flight MH1

The plan does have a few flaws though. First up I have to get up two hours earlier everyday which in itself will probably make me tired. Secondly I’ll have to go to bed earlier in order to stay in sync and that may be tricky. For a start I’m due onboard flight MH1 from Heathrow which departs at 10:00pm (UK time) on Tuesday – According to my plan I should be getting up at 11pm, but I will have been driving all day and getting checked in and onboard a plane, I’m still going to be operating at UK time simply because of the logisitcs of getting to Heathrow and onboard our flight. Next problem will be the stopover in  Kuala Lumpur. That’s going to be at around midnight New Zealand time so if I want to be in tune with the Kiwis I should be tucked up in bed. But no, I’ll be traipsing around a rain forest in the middle of an airport instead.

Clearly this plan won’t work, but I wasn’t sleeping so I thought I’d get up anyway. It may at least mean that I’ll be tired tonight and will get a decent nights sleep before starting the journey to the other side of the globe tomorrow.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar forComment Author mum says:

    No wonder you don’t sleep Al, I now remember why I was so pleased oou married Anna! you are her problem now lol, sorry Anna x

  2. Avatar forComment Author shem says:

    As you know Ive travelled a fair bit Al, and have never really been affected by Jet lag. Im a firm believer in get to where your going. Do a lot of exercise, not excessive, just a good surf or similar and then have a couple of beers. The exercise combined with a couple of ales, usually works a treat 😀

  3. Avatar forComment Author shem says:

    P.S. Id hoped to catch up before you go away, but as usual, life is crazy, but have an awesome time and good luck…and if you need anything doing, let me know.

    • Avatar forComment Author Alan says:

      Cheers Shem,
      all sorted here I think – Although it has been pretty hectic for the last couple of weeks. Kind of looking forward to 30 hours on a plane with nothing to do now!


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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