Crossing to the dark side: those who nap through jetlag

Crossing to the dark side: those who nap through jetlag

This may well be the most controversial blog post I will ever write, because as everyone knows, you don’t do it. You don’t ever take a nap in the middle of the day if you have jetlag, you stay awake until whenever night time is in the country you have flown to.

So here’s my confession: I nap. On purpose. And I highly recommend it!

Why? Well, let me talk you through my jetlagged history. The first time I ever flew across so many timezones that I arrived at my destination the day before I left, I held to the maxim that one does not nap during the day if one is jetlagged. Unfortunately, we’d arrived in Rome at 6am, leaving a yawning gulf of time between touch down and sleep time. All the same, I bravely battled on despite having achieved only about 2 hours of broken sleep on a plane over the past 24 hours. I began the day with less than ideal muscle co-ordination, tripping over cobblestones, my own shoes, and, once, a parked scooter. The day wore on, and I ignored my aching limbs and red, throbbing eyes to feign interest in various statues and fountains in an attempt to distract myself until bedtime. Exhausted from my ongoing efforts to remain upright, I checked my watch. Roughly fifteen minutes had passed.

And that’s when it dawned on me: no good could come out of this day while I was so thoroughly dysfunctional. I was wasting an entire precious day of my holidays! And why? Because “The Rule” is that you don’t nap when you have jetlag. Well, I thought, it’s my holiday and I’ll nap if I want to. And so I napped... and then I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and slept that night as per normal!

There is, however, a careful technique that I follow when engaging in this most dangerous of first-world-problem pursuits.

  1. Don’t oversleep. It’s a power-nap only. Set the alarm on your phone to maximum loudness. Allow yourself no more than 20-40 minutes on the clock (depending on just how bad the calibre of sleep on your flight was)
  2. If necessary, set a second alarm to go off at the same time, and place it a couple of metres away so you have to get up to turn it off.
  3. This is the tricky bit: when the alarm goes off YOU GET OUT OF BED. DO NOT PRESS SNOOZE. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF EVEN A MOMENT LONGER TO REST.
  4. Immediately go and take a hot shower. This is necessary because it prevents you from falling back asleep, makes you feel a bit less crappy, and also gets you clean.
  5. Coffee. Strong. Black, if you can take it.

I should be honest here, and say that when that alarm goes off after 40 minutes you will be dragged from the murkiest depths of unconsciousness and you will not feel remotely like getting out of bed. Your brain will try to tell you that you need more sleep, and your brain will be very persuasive about this, BUT this groggy phase passes in about 15-20 minutes, after which time you will feel completely non-jetlagged! And in doing so, you’ll have gained back a whole day from your holiday that would otherwise be spent moping around willing the day to be over.

So. I nap through jetlag. And have not, to date, been struck by lightning for so doing. Just a little idea to roll around while you’re planning your honeymoon, folks. Check out our sample registry for more ideas, or check out our home page for more info on how Our Honeymoon Registry works. Happy planning!

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