One of the big things about traveling across several time zones – and then coming back after only a short period of time – is that the attempts to stick to your own time zone becomes all the more necessary. I find it takes at least two days to get used to the new time zone, and then another two days to get reacquainted with my own once I return. Imagine taking a six-day trip across four time zones…and trying to time shift in he process.
I don’t think it’s all that wise.
But in my case, I’m traveling with a toddler who is used to getting up nice and early. Like 5 a.m. early. This wouldn’t be a problem normally, as my wife is a morning person and usually gets him in the early hours while I’m still sleeping from another evening of “night owlism”. However, she’s not here with me on this trip, so I’m up to bat.
Now this "5 a.m. early" for my son is actually 8 a.m. here because of the time zone difference, but if I stuck to my own time zone I’d be getting up at 11 a.m. and going to bed at 4 a.m. during my stay based on my usual sleeping and waking habits. The boy has altered my sleep due to his pattern, meaning I’m now getting up at the equivalent of 5 a.m. in my own time zone and hitting the sack at around 10 p.m. instead. This goes against all of my night owl instincts, but it’s happening.
And you know...I’m actually quite glad that it is, and I’m going to stick with it when I get home. Why?
Because my lifestyle has changed to the point where being a night owl no longer works for me or my family. In order to get the most out of my day (and my life), I need to get up earlier. So I will.
I’ve talked about sleep habits here (and elsewhere) before:
- The Early Riser Experiment1
- Early Riser or Night Owl: Why It Doesn’t Really Matter
- Are You An Efficient Early Riser or Energetic Night Owl?
- 2×4 With Mike Vardy
- 6 Tips to Get More Time on Your Side
- 10 Things You Need To Do To Be Supremely Productive
As someone who likes to take advantage of unique opportunity, I’m taking advantage of the time zone shift that this trip has provided. I'm not fighting my body clock (which I discussed in several of the links above, and also in my manifesto The Way of The Productivityist). I’m setting a goal of making sure that I keep consistent with my early rising from now until July 3 – which is my birthday.2 I’ll offer up progress updates during the journey, which is going to be a very challenging one.
Remember...I'm not condemning night owlism at all; it's just that my lifestyle no longer permits it.
Now it's time for me to put this post -- and myself -- to bed.
Photo credit: Marcin Wichary (CC BY 2.0)
1This one talks about my early rising being an experiment. This time around, it's a commitment. That's the big difference. 2 Considering I was born shortly after 5 a.m. on that day, it's fitting that I strive for that as my goal realization date.