I'm a Zeo engineer who loves to travel, and I recently got a chance to mix the two. Last month, I took Zeo with me on a trip to Taiwan to document my sleeping patterns and prove that I could avoid jetlag [editorial: i.e. Kuji shares some interesting things he tried in order to combat jetlag].
Note: the [editorial] comments are courtesy of Steve, research scientist at Zeo, and are meant to give a more scientific view of the story.
The night before departing, a friend "wished me luck" with the jetlag. I responded "I don't get jet lagged." He didn't believe me [editorial: and neither did I]. There was only one way to settle this. I finished packing after staying up into the early morning hours and had some extra time before I needed to get to the airport. So I decided to rig up a battery operated Zeo to use on the plane...and prove my case.
The Trip Highlights
- 9/28 - 9/29: Two typical nights before my trip to show my sleep baseline. [editorial: at 26, Kuji is an incredible sleeper to begin with and will bounce back from disruptions easier than most]
- 9/30: My flight from Chicago to Tokyo. There's a lot of wake, but that was to eat and watch a movie. Side note: "The Proposal" is not a good movie [editorial: I agree].
- By 10/3: Jet lag officially defeated, I felt like normal [editorial: results not typical]. I had 10 minutes of wake around 2:00AM, but that's because I was scared. An EARTHQUAKE woke me up! The 6.3-magnitude quake hit just South of Taiwan. Luckily Taiwan is used to it and no damage was done.
- 10/5 - 10/6: Started sleep depriving myself again to prepare for the trip home.
- 10/7: Slept well on the plane back.
- 10/8: Slept pretty well my first night back in Boston. [editorial: though not as well and at a later time than baseline]
So, how do I conquer jet lag? I'll let you in on my secrets (which is not based on science, just my personal experiences [editorial: apparently]).
- Falling asleep at the appropriate time: I time my flights so that I am sleeping on the plane ~24 hours before I plan to at my destination. I can actually fall asleep on the plane and pretend it never happened if I deprive myself of sleep the night before. [editorial: sleep deprivation might help you fall asleep, but there's no evidence that it helps jet lag AND it's potentially dangerous to be sleep depriving yourself for 36-42 hours at a time like this]
- Melatonin: It helps me sleep and shifts my circadian rhythm which tells my brain when I should be tired. [editorial: melatonin not regulated, could be unreliable, and is not a sleeping pill...but that's something for a future conversation.]
- Earplugs + Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Although neither block out all the noise, I leave them both on when I'm sleeping or watching movies. The movie sounds a little muffled, but it's better than hearing whatever else is going on in the cabin.
- Baseball Cap: I prefer it to an eye mask, but it's just to block the light.
What Do You Think?
So that's my trip. But I'm always in for a new experiment...is there anything you've found helpful in beating jetlag? Share it in the comments below.
[Editorial: For a sound scientific article on jet lag, its causes and a video on how to mitigate it, check out the Healthy Sleep article on Jet Lag and Shift Work. ]
Kuji (avg ZQ: 91) is an engineer at Zeo and holds the company ZQ record. He was instrumental in the design and development of Zeo and continues to be an innovative force in bringing practical sleep science into your home.