How to adjust to a new time zone

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The photo above was taken when we landed in Dhaka at sunset (about 5 p.m) on Christmas Day. But in Philly it was about 6 a.m. Christmas morning and most of my friends haven’t gotten up yet and opened their Christmas gifts (according to Facebook). Discombobulated and excited, I grabbed my carry-ons and stepped off the plane.

One of the toughest things about traveling to South Asia from the northeastern U.S. is adjusting to a time zone that’s 11 hours ahead. Your body wants to eat lunch but your mind is telling you it’s time to get into your pjs and watch the Daily Show. Or maybe it’s the other way around?

I have memories of coming to Bangladesh as a teenager and falling asleep at people’s evening dinner parties and feeling wide awake at 3 a.m. I definitely can’t afford to not adjust quickly with our short stay and extremely busy schedule so I decided to try sleeping pills this time.

Starting from the night we arrived, I started taking one Ambien around 11 pm. It’s supposed to knock you out for 8 hours, but it only worked for 6 hours for me. That’s ok. I think I’m one of those weird individuals who actually feel more myself with less hours of sleep.

So far the pills are helping me adjust to the new schedule, I recommend it for folks who need to adjust to a new time zone fast.

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