I reached out to doctors to find out the best way to cope with jet lag. Check out the episode to find out the results of my conversations.
Back in Epsiode 18…
I’m looking for someone who helps me run another experiment. Ideally, you’re a doctor or someone who knows a lot about the human body. If that’s you, please let me know. I won’t name you on the show if you don’t want to be named.
But I will probably ask you stuff like what kind of medical tools do I need to check my blood sugar on-the-go? Perfect nutrition that I should have in this and that situation. How do I beat jet lag? Because maybe there is a situation where I want to beat it and not just embrace it like I said in the other episode…
John’s advice on fighting jet lag
My friend John who’s in the US was one of the people that responded and said he’s happy to help. He’s become a doctor in the past several years. He’s actually in Hong Kong right now. So we’re in the same time zone. And he said I could just give him a call and we can talk about jet lag and other questions that I have. And that’s what I’m gonna do now.
Hey, how’s it going?
Thank you for reaching out after seeing the video. I haven’t done a real experiment with dieting and jet lag and workouts in a while so I’m just trying to get a bit more inside.
John: I think in terms of jet lag, the medical community is more okay with using a little longer term, is melatonin. That’s one of the chemicals that immediately restricts the circadian rhythm. The chemical pathway in your brain that regulates your sleep cycle. One thing I would really suggest for jet lag is melatonin.
2. Warm shower
Another that might help is taking a warm shower a few hours before bed as well.
What kind of exercise is useful while traveling?
John: So I think the sort of stuff you’re doing is pretty good. You know, squats and push-ups, I think, are one of the best ways to do workouts just using your bodyweight and there’s a lot of different things you can do with just bodyweight in terms of cardio and strength.
Being in medical school, sometimes it’s pretty difficult for me to find time to workout. When I was still doing more bookwork, I used to go to the gym and actually doing weightlifting and playing basketball and things like that.
Call summary and my takeaways
So John is a friend from HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). He is Chinese-American I think. Is just about to finish his formal education and going into training in Seattle. And super interesting insights. So we touched on a lot of topics.
Number one was jet lag. And the thing that he mentioned is melatonin. If you take melatonin, kind of cut the tablets or the pills into half or a third because they are usually sold in larger dosages than what your body needs. That’s because the smaller dosages are more regulated. So it’s easier for the companies to sell a 3mg tablet versus a 1mg tablet.
He also mentioned things to avoid before going to sleep. He said avoid exercising right before you’re going to bed. Avoid blue light. Generally, make sure you’re in a dark room. One thing that could help is kind of be in a food coma. So if you have a big meal before going to bed, that might help you fall asleep. But it might not be the most healthy way to go to sleep.
How to fall asleep and what to do if you just can’t
So those are mostly, except for the melatonin, the no exercising, no blue light, dark room, and eye mask and earplugs – these are things that will help you fall asleep. Typically, what happens to me is I wake up pretty early in the night. After just a few hours of sleep, I wake up.
If you can’t sleep, then get up, do something that’s not too energetic. But something relaxing like reading or maybe go for a light walk or sit up straight. And then take a nap later on when you’re tired again. Don’t stay in bed because then your body will just get used to it.
Try to adjust to the time zone before going there
Try and see if you can adjust yourself to the time zone before going there. So what I typically do before going the US, I stay up the night before. And that helps me sleep on the plane. And so I’m halfway adjusted between my original time zone and the destination time zone before I get there.
He also said warm showers might be something that helps. We talked also about polyphasic sleep schedules. Which means, instead of getting seven or 6-8 hours in one go, you break up your sleep into multiple phases. That’s why it says “polyphasic”. So you would get, maybe, 4 hours during the night and then 3 times 1 hour during the day.
And we touched upon a number of different topics. We talked about exercising while traveling, we talked about diets. And I liked his two takeaways.
Number one was as long as you feel healthy, you’re probably okay. Just try to listen to your body.
And number two: don’t let things like cancer freak you out too much. Don’t think too much about it, enjoy life to the fullest. Because worse than having cancer is not having cancer and being so preoccupied that you forget to live day by day.
So with that, enjoy some of the insights that I’ve had in the conversation with John and don’t forget to live every day as if it were your last.
You can listen to the audio version here: