The major touring and travel season has arrived and for fortunate American cyclists, they may have the opportunity to travel abroad. The travel will undoubtedly be exciting, special and interesting. The trip will probably also be grueling and tiring. 

If you’ve flown and crossed 3 or more time zones to reach your destination, you may have experienced the exhausting sensation of jet lag in addition to general travel fatigue. What can be done?

According to Wikipedia 

Picture

Ever feel like this tired tourist?

Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on a (typically jet) aircraft. It is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

The condition of jet lag may last several days until one is fully adjusted to the new time zone, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is a suggested guideline

We know of those who advocate melatonin (legality in question in some countries), over-the-counter sleep aids, light exposure, and exercise. We tried acupressure points once but we were also exposed to some sunlight while taking a good walk so it’s even hard to say anecdotally that acupressure worked. 
Lately, we’ve been trying something new. Since we believe in inexpensive, practical and repeatable solutions, we want to share this remedy we use when we travel eastbound such as LA to New York or New York to Europe. It can easily be used by anyone with a somewhat flexible schedule. It’s simple! Wake up earlier!
Process
Consider origin and destination for eastbound travel.
What is the time zone difference?
When do you normally wake up? At destination time?
When will you likely be waking at your destination?
How many hours does that buy you?
What is your “wake cycle” difference?
What is your “catch up” goal?

How many consecutive days before departure will you be able to wake up earlier?
Divide  your “catch up” goal by “wake up” early days.
Multiply by 60 to get minutes.
This is the number of minutes you’ll get up earlier every day until departure.

Eat and go to sleep to support the adjusted schedule.

Example
Los Angeles to Tuscany, Italy
9 hours
6 am LA = 3 pm Italy
7 am to 8 am
1 hour benefit (maybe 2)
Still a difference of 8 hours
Would like to feel like a difference of 4 hours or less “catch up” hours
10 days

4 divided by 10 = 0.40 
60 x 0.40 = 24
Set alarm earlier by 24 minutes  every day from 10 days before departure to day of departure.
1st day = Wake at 5:36 am
2nd day = Wake at 512 am
3rd day = Wake at 4:48 am

Follow pattern through to 
10th day = Wake at 2:00 am LA & 11:00 am Italy

By the last morning of this process, the day you fly, you will be tired and feeling like you’re not quite in the proper time zone. You’re not! You’ve made a time deposit and you’ll be reaping the rewards of faster jet lag recovery when you step off the plane within the next 24 hours. Would you rather pay now at home by feeling a little off or when you’re in your dream tour destination with more intense jet lag?  Give it a try and let us know if it works for you!

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Tail winds and thanks for reading  

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