When we arrived in Australia, there were many things we had to adjust and get used to, such as driving on the other side of the road, Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, and making sure we spelled words correctly (neighbor = neighbour // organize = organise). But among the biggest things we had to adjust to within the first week was the time difference. Jet lag and I are not very good friends; the worst I’ve ever had to endure was a 7 hour difference whenever I traveled back and forth between the U.S. and South Africa. But 14 hours – whoa, it is totally something else (and has since increased to 16 hours, due to the U.S. ‘falling back’ and Australia ‘springing forward’). We were jetlagged for at least 5-6 days upon arriving in Melbourne– waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 2am, and ready to climb back into bed at 5pm — definitely not fun haha. In fact, the photo above was of a sunrise I captured one day when we were so wide awake (which I’m so thankful we were able to experience!)
Unfortunately, the only way we were able to really regulate our sleeping patterns was by taking a sleeping aid, like Motrin PM, which also helped in getting rid of any headaches as well (which I tend to get a lot when I’m jet lagged and trying to put off sleep until a normal hour). We would simply take one before we needed to go to bed and we were asleep within 30 minutes to an hour (it also really helped me on the flight over here). Neither of us are a fan of taking medication (except if we have the flu, sinus issues, etc), but this was the only thing that I found helped put us into a regular sleeping pattern within a week. It was also interesting (read: confusing) to have to get used to the time difference between Melbourne and EST back in the U.S. I had to whip out the world clock feature on my phone constantly to ensure I wasn’t waking friends and family up back home with my calls or text messages. Thankfully, I’ve found this website which has been extremely helpful so I don’t have to stop and do the math in my head haha. After seven months of this, I’ve now gotten a proper handle on getting the times right, and realizing that when I wake up in the morning, it’s the east coast’s afternoon/evening; and when we are heading to bed, the east coast is just about waking up.
I’m a huge Chelsea FC fan, and would watch any and every match when we still lived in the States – even if the matches came on at 7am. However, since moving here, all matches either come on between 1am – 5am, and I’ll be VERY lucky if I can catch one between 6-8am, or even a late night one at 11:30pm/midnight. It’s been a bit frustrating, but I’ve been able to rely on highlights and my timeline for updates regarding the games :) and I’ve found, after talking with other Aussies, that it’s quite difficult for anyone to properly follow the Premier League, simply because the match times are absurd (and I do love my sleep more than Chelsea… sorry not sorry ;)). Speaking of sports, we’ve had to also watch several other games during interesting hours, such as our college football season (Roll Tide!) and the Super Bowl was on a Monday morning at 10am, lol. And while we are in the midst of awards seasons, I’ve been watching all the awards shows during the day and joked with my friend Lauren that I actually had the blinds down during the Grammy’s last week because it was, in all honesty, quite confusing for me to watch it in broad daylight haha!
This whole post has definitely screamed #firstworldproblems, but I hope it helps anyone who travels down under! Some people are blessed to not feel the impact of jet lag as hard as others, which is fantastic. But for those of us more sensitive to jet lag, equipping yourself by getting proper rest for a few days, as well as ensuring you adjust your body and sleeping patterns to the new time zone, you’ll be right as rain. If you do plan on traveling here, I’d allot at least 2-3 days to catch up on sleep and then explore to your heart’s content! If you have any suggestions for combating jet lag, please feel free to leave them in the comments below – I’d love to hear them for when we travel long distances again! :)