Counting Sheep

When you hear people say that jet lag is a real thing, believe them! I think the past two weeks since our return from itinerating in the states have proved to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that jet lag is not an imaginary phenomenon.

In times past when we have traveled, I was the one who usually suffered the most. My husband might have had one or two nights of tossing and turning, and of course my little girl would bounce back almost immediately. This always left me wondering if I was imagining the struggle to keep time!

All of my doubts have been erased since this most recent return. During the past two weeks, each of us has lived in a semi-conscious state of jet lag induced zombie-dom. My daughter, who is only 11, would fall asleep in the middle of the day and wandered the hallways in the middle of the night. Both my husband and I tossed and turned, waiting for the minutes to pass – morning coffee came very early at 3:00 am.

The worst for me came one night when I woke at 12:30 am and was wide awake until bedtime the following day. While that was doubtless the worst night, I slept the following night and then the next and the next until this morning when I announced to myself that jet lag has been defeated.

Try as jet lag might, eventually, my cicadian rhythm was bound to catch up to local time.

There are countless remedies that are touted to make the transition better – and I have tried many of them.

Melatonin.

Stay hydrated.

Exercise.

Follow a regular schedule.

Sleep when you want to.

Read books.

Drink coffee.

Don’t ingest caffeine.

I will likely keep on reading and trying the new and improved remedies as they become popular fodder for travelers. While my hopes are high that there might be something out there to alleviate my symptoms, my pessimistic side is preparing me to keep battling the jet lag demons that taunt me during these long-haul travels.

On the positive side of jet lag, I do get lots of laundry and house cleaning done during those strange hours. The house is sparkling and there’s not a bit of dirty clothing to be found.

As much as I love a clean house and clean laundry, I’ll gladly trade a bit of dirty laundry and some dirty dishes to watch the sheep jump the fence in my dreams.

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I'm a cultural misfit Jesus lover, wife, mom, and missionary serving with my husband in Africa since 1987. www.1000churchesinafrica.com

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