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The Little Green Book of Absinthe

Little Green Book of AbsintheI'm very excited to announce the release of our first absinthe recipe book. The Little Green Book of Absinthe is a compendium of contemporary recipes, history, and stories all focusing on the green fairy.

Jet Lag

I hate Jet Lag. People think that Jet Lag is being tired from traveling. It’s not. I get over the travel tired pretty quick. Jet Lag hits me about ten days to two weeks later and ruins my life for about two weeks.

I live in San Francisco but I travel all over the world.  I'm lucky to get to do what I love and a big part of what I love is exploring new places, new tastes, sounds and smells. Of course it's hard to enjoy a museum if you are too burnt out to stay awake so here are my tips for travelers.

I want to be clear that these recommendations are what I have found that work for me.  Some of my friends have no problem with jet lag (of course most of my friends who have never had jet lag have never traveled more than a couple of hours away so I am dubious).

Jet lag manifests as a number of symptoms. For me they are simple, obvious and vaguely flue like. I can’t sleep then when I do sleep I can’t wake up. I’m tired all the time. My digestion is terrible. I have a head ache. I never get head aches except when I travel. Physical aching can happen sometimes.  Again, this is more than just what happens from the plane ride although that doesn't help much either. Being locked in a tin can breathing shared air while stuck in the most uncomfortable seats imaginable for ten plus hours is a better description of torture than luxury travel. The fatigue from flying certainly is pretty awful by itself.

So here's what I do to mitigate the trouble. First, I try to get as close to the local time zone as possible starting a couple of weeks to a month before the flight.  So, when I am heading to London from San Francisco I start about three weeks out by going to bed an hour early for a couple of days, then two hours early and so on.  London is eight hours ahead of San Francisco so it takes a while and it can be challenging going to bed by six pm and waking up at 2 in the morning. I also drink lots of water and take vitamins religiously for that time. 

I try to book flights that will arrive in Europe in the morning.  I take a sleeping pill on the plane and try to sleep through as much of the flight as I can.  Don't forget to drink lots of water on the plane so you don't get dehydrated.  When you are not sleeping make sure to get up and move around the plane.  It really helps to get out of those seats. Most of the websites I have looked into on the subject recommend not drinking alcohol or coffee on the plane but a cup of coffee or strong black tea at the end of the flight seems to help me stay awake when I land.

Once I've landed I make a big point to stay awake until evening, but it's important to not burn yourself out. If you find yourself tire then don't fight it too much.  It's important to get in sync with the local time but it's more important to not get overly tired or you risk getting sick. 

I like to start each day abroad with a nice cup of coffee or latte in a cafe.  It helps keep me awake and it's a nice way to start the day and it helps to keep me awake during the day. Be careful with the coffee though.  Too much, especially on an empty stomach, makes for a less pleasant day. I've got a prescription for Provigil which I have not tried yet.  Provigil is a type of amphetamine which will keep you up without speeding you out (or so I have been told) but I am leery of such things. I do recommend a good sleeping pill each night.  I take trazadone or Ambian.

Good luck and good travels. Now where did I put that sleeping pill?

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