Hong Kong is Present, Taipei Awakes


I think I have found a reasonably effective solution to the problem of jet lag. All it requires is a complete inversion in what you think the problem is. The conventional wisdom is that you need to force your body out of its comfortable rhythm and convince it to adopt the alien schedule of the new place you’re going. That’s exactly backwards. If you think of your new time zone as the “wrong” one, of course you’ll have a hard time of it. The trick is to be absolutely convinced that the time zone you started from is the mistake.

Set your watch and your mental clock to the new time zone well before you get to the airport. The sky outside is an illusion, and your body, in a fit of extreme perversity, has decided to wake up at an inappropriate hour. Your task, between then and when you land is to reset yourself to the One True Time.

The conventional view also treats the plane flight as another obstacle. It’s inherent in the name: “jet lag.” This, too, is a mistake. Being in a disorienting environment with unpredictable cycles of light and dark and no real sense of place—that’s a golden opportunity to tell your body any damn thing you want to make it believe. Make the most of it.


I take this approach as well and it seemed to work well for me going from east coast US to Taipei… it takes me longer to adjust to coming home because I’m usually too exhausted to think about it coming home from a trip. (My SO laughs at me for wasting effort changing my clocks when I’m going to travel, but it helps the mindset.)

My being awake now at 4:30 am local time reading blogs is unrelated, of course.

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