Jet lag makes flying west to east tough!
Jet lag makes flying west to east tough!

Secrets of global flying - Surviving Jet Lag

Updated January 28, 2019 by CJ

Flying West

I once had a colleague who lived in London, was working in Philadelphia, and needed to be in Hong Kong. The quickest flight that would give him a few more hours with his family was via his hometown with British Airways (Cathay Pacific was out of budget). He instead opted for Air Canada via Toronto and then continue westward home to London.

As in safe shiftwork it’s easier to function by “staying up late” (i.e. rotating the shift pattern forward - going from 9am-5pm shifts to 9pm to 5am shifts requires less rest and adjustment than the reverse).

This is the effect of flying west - you stay up later in your origin timezone while still being relatively functional in your destination timezone.

Flying East

This is the less optimal position, so how did I adjust? The week prior to the flight, I started to “live” on the new timezone:

  • Ate breakfast at 4am London time (China’s midday)
  • Ate dinner at 5pm London time (China’s 11pm)
  • Went to bed at 8pm London time (China’s 2am)

Whether you need to wake up for a meeting, for that holiday, or for some other important engagement, jetlag shouldn’t get in the way!