Jet Lag

Oslo
July 2015

I haven’t slept in two days. I can’t sleep on airplanes. Too cramped. Too much going on. And I couldn’t sleep the night before I left. I’m always worried that the alarm won’t go off, and I’ll miss my flight, so I can’t relax.

These red eye flights to Europe are the worst. And it’s not helping that I arrived early. Touch down in Amsterdam before 6 a.m. (midnight in the U.S.). Oslo by 8:30 a.m. A fine idea at the time.

Get out and do things, or you’ll never adjust your internal clock.Rick Steves may arrive in Europe all rested, refreshed, and ready to go. Those people in first class, with their personal little coffin beds, might be okay, too. But I’m a mess, and it will get worse before the day is done. Some of my friends medicate to sleep on the flight. Xanax is their drug of choice. That sort of thing makes me loopy, and when traveling alone in a new country, loopy isn’t good.

The best thing to do is push through it. Don’t take a nap at check-in. Get out and do things, or you’ll never adjust your internal clock.

That, too, is a fine idea. But this afternoon, listening to a woman describing something at the Nobels Museum, I nodded off. I’ve been yawning ever since. And if I have a beer at dinner, I’ll never make it to my hotel, and they’ll find me passed out in the Schlottsparken or doing endless loops on the No. 19 tram.

Man, I hope I fall asleep tonight.

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