June 25th, 2003.

Battling jetlag.

A week after returning from the West Coast of the United States, and somehow my body still isn't able to adjust to UK time. To be honest, I haven't made much of an effort to get onto the right time zone wither, and it doesn't help that I am naturally what you might call a 'night owl' anyway.

So what is the secret? How does one combat the problem of jet lag?

I've turned to the source of all knowledge for an answer; Google. There are a ton of sites all with loads of information and suggestions about what one can do to combat the effects of jet lag.

I never knew it was such a scientifically discussed subjet. I had expected there to be more accepting of the fact that after a long haul flight you'll look just as bad as you do in the passport photograph you won't let anyone other than an immigration official look at.

As ever there are all kinds of inventions to help you combat jet lag. One such invention is a 'Jetlag Light Visor' which looks like a step in the evolutionary chain of an old mining lamp. The idea is that you throw all worries of self-image and decorum out of the window and wear this great big light on your head for a scientifically specified amount of time, after which you must sleep or failing that simply knock yourself out in some way.

Twenty-two hours passed in just thirteen hours on the two flights from Los Angeles airport. While my friends in California were making their way to bed I was beginning the final approach to Manchester airport where a whole new day was just starting in the UK. My night had lasted about three hours and in that time I had probably had maybe one and a half hours sleep.

In the end, I elected to go for the stay awake approach. Someone had said to me that just staying awake and going to bed at the usual time for me here in the UK would be the correct thing to do. But by three o'clock in the afternoon, I looked as bad as my passport photograph and was as coherent as someone who had spent a long weekend with Jack Daniels.

I tried to sit at my desk and work, I figured I could do the menial tasks like quick email responses and a little tidying up of files. However, just before 5 PM, I was woken by a sharp blow to my head as the desk appeared to jump up and smack me in the face. Sleep was kidnapping me, I had little choice but to offer no further resistance.

The following day I woke up at 11:02 AM. This annoyed me as I had set my phone to wake me up at 8:30 AM. The alarm had gone off as programmed, but I switched it off assuring myself I would have 'five more minutes.'

As I sat up in bed I glanced over again at the digital clock. At this angle, I could see the time properly. What I initially saw as 11:02 AM was in fact 17:02 PM, yes two minutes past five o'clock. Somehow I had slept all day long!