My 5 Tips for Making Sure You Never Change Your Sleep Schedule While Traveling

I have never slept this much and this least in my entire life. I don’t know if it is because I went abroad just after coming out of the chaos of finals or I just have a stubborn body, but I am currently sleeping on no one’s time. I thought this would be a great way to help any other folks out there trying to ensure that they never sync up with the places they travel.

1. Drink Alcohol Across Time zones

I thought traveling was all about indulging so I made sure to have a drink in my hand for each of my first steps in Sweden. A gin and tonic on the plane, a beer with my first breakfast in the city, a glass of wine for dinner, and an unholy amount of mölska to really “experience” the culture. Piling up all of these drinks and more over the first couple of days made sure that my body felt like it was awake. It all came together for the perfect recipe of faux alertness and a +16 hour hangover.

2. Can’t Sleep? Do Something to Pass the Time.

If you have seen my google calendar, you know I get really queasy when I am not doing something. My version of hell is just having to lay in a bed and try to think about doing nothing, while remembering that I could be doing something, but in reality should be trying to do nothing but get distracted by being able to do something… you get the gist. To make the most of my time, I opted in for doing research, re-watching the new GoT episodes, and enjoying the Swedish sunrise at 5 a.m. I finally got some shut eye around 8 a.m. and awoke at 2 p.m. It’s fine. Plus, who is out at that time anyway?

3. Schedule Your Trip As If the Time Difference Doesn’t Exist

My itinerary was packed the first day with visiting museums and parks and art exhibits and buildings. I did manage a few… the next day. I tried to drag my relenting corpse to the first museum I had scheduled, only to fall asleep at the first installation. I was fully able to enjoy the exhibits with my eyes twitching and head nodding, completely new perspective on the art.

4. Let Your Body By Its Own Alarm Clock… It Knows Best

I didn’t set an alarm the first couple of days on my trip. I was hoping doing so would allow me to catch up on some missed z’s from finals week. What I did underestimate was my ability to lie in a single place unconscious for extended periods of time. On my longest day here so far, I slept for a straight 15 hours and was completely eclipsed on where I was and why my phone wouldn’t plug into the outlet… but hey, I probably needed it then, right?

5. Coffee Is A Beverage For All Meals

Swedes are not shy to tell you that they are the global leader in coffee consumption per capita. What they won’t tell you is that this has led to an incredible tolerance to caffeine amongst the Nordic people. I don’t drink coffee at school. A single cup often leaves me jittery and bugging people with new ideas for insane start ups. But, I thought if the locals are doing it… when in Rome? I had a cup with dinner and promptly fell asleep at 5 a.m. the following day. But on the good side, I got to go to bed with coffee breath instead of waking up for it.


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