It's exciting to think about living in a global world, but when you're staying up until 1:00 a.m. for a conference call with Italy to prepare for an 8:30 meeting downtown with a client, the realities of a 24 hour time clock can catch up with you.
There are lots of ways to stay up. My favorite is the old military one that drill instructors use on young recruits. Push-ups. Still tired? More Push-ups! It's not a bad trick, but most of us prefer tea, or coffee, or an energy drink, or an herbal remedy.
Getting to sleep can be harder. There's melatonin, and relax tabs, and meditation, and counting sheep, but if you're interested in more than the occasional pick me up or put me down, you'll need to get to the category of sleep hacking.
Randstand Sourceright's Insight blog gives the basics for resetting your clock: regulate meals, light intake, and caffeine.
To help reset your internal clock to a different time zone, ensure exposure to bright light in the morning – open the curtains right away when you wake – and minimize light exposure, especially laptops, in the evening. You can quickly acclimatize to a new time zone by regulating light exposure.
Timing your meals can also help with overcoming jetlag. Having a snack might be one way to break the monotony on a long flight, but fasting until you arrive at your destination might ease the transition, according to WebMD.
Another consideration – and this one is tough – is minimizing caffeine intake. For many, sipping down a strong espresso is the only way to make it through another presentation, but overloading on coffee throughout the day is a sure way to disrupt night-time sleep.
It's good advice, but who takes it? Who can afford to not use the laptop (or smart phone) at night? If you're looking for advice that's a bit more out there, you have to move into the sleep hack realm, and Bulletproof Exec is a good place to start.
My favorite is the $800 machine he talks about in this post that includes meditation, buttered coffee, and Provigil (it's a wakefulness drug used by narcoleptics). Sleep hacking is part of the larger category known as body hacking, which purports to test what humans do by experimenting on ourselves. Check out sleep hacking on your favorite search engine, and if you some better tips, be sure to share them in the forum.