Jet lag: a first world problem if ever there was one, but a real problem none the less. The journey from London to Los Angeles is particularly brutal on the body clock - last time I made the trip, I had five nights of waking up at 3am in a state of wide-eyed alertness that no amount of melatonin could put to rest.
This time round, I was determined not to waste the first week of my trip feeling simultaneously wired and exhausted. I did some research into jet lag methods before I flew and I'm pleased (smug) to report that I've found one which seems to work. Here's how:
Just stop eating. Have your last meal 12-16 hours before breakfast time in your destination, and your hunger cycle will override your circadian rhythm to establish a new internal body clock (I didn't just make this up - here's the science).
So I ate lunch in LA at 12.30pm PST, then skipped my usual routine of boredom snacking throughout the check-in procedure and on the plane. Instead, I reset my phone to local London time (1am GMT by the time we took off) as soon as I got on board, forced myself to rest, and found that my body woke me up with hunger pangs around 8.30am GMT, which was when I planned to eat breakfast. I had about 30 mins of jetlag shakiness once I landed, but otherwise I've slept normally the whole time I've been in London. *Smugface.*
It will be interesting to see if this trick works on the return journey - will keep you posted.