5 Ways to Set Up Your Home to Combat Return Jet-Lag

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last night before i fell asleep, i made the mistake of googling the time difference between portland, oregon and kuala lumpur malaysia (where we are off to in 1.5 days).

the answer: 15 hours.

that is insane. as i was falling asleep, people over there were having their 2pm afternoon snack the next day! this is going to make for a rough time difference adjustment and dealing with jet-lag. also…time travel?!

jet-lag happens when you cross two or more time zones and your circadian rhythm – the biological clock that helps control when we wake and fall asleep, gets out of whack.

we are headed to malaysia for a week and then off to thailand for another week before we return back to portland after being gone for 2 weeks.

 5 Ways to Set UpYour Home to combat jet lag

the last time we traveled with a 10+ hour time difference was to dubai in 2009. after we got back, we stayed at my mom’s house. she came down and fed and watered us every once in a while and it was great.

this time we are on our own so preparations and planning are necessary (but mom if you want to fly out to portland and surprise us, that is just fine too).

so i’ve prepared 5 different ways to set up our home so we can combat return jet-lag:

1) stock up on easily prepared food

this one is most important. there is no way you are going to have the energy to get into a car and run to the grocery story while your body clock is trying to readjust. plus it’s dangerous because of grogginess, disorientation and general exhaustion. go to the grocery store a day or two before you leave and stock up on things that have a longer shelf life.

travel preparations

milk: as you can see, we buy lactose free milk because i’m a tender bunnies and can’t process dairy. that milk is ultra pasteurized so that carton doesn’t expire until september 10 (a whole 10 days after we get back). you can also buy the non-refrigerated almond milk or soy milk! cereal is our go-to meal and now it can happen.

yogurt: the hubs loves smoothies and we have frozen fruit in stock. granola and yogurt is also a great meal in between sleeps.

peanut butter, jelly and bread: this is my favorite. i eat at least one PB&J a day so we are planning to freeze half a loaf of bread, stir up that peanut and probably eat this most frequently. also gives you protein.

eggs: they generally keep 2-3 weeks after you buy them and can actually be eaten even a few days after the expiration date. this is a great source of protein and not very labor intensive.

pasta: pasta keeps for a very long time and is relatively easy to make when you feel like a zombie. my pasta form is always annie’s mac!

frozen pizza: actual zombies can make this so it’s perfect for jetlag just remember to turn your oven off.

snacks that make you happy: wheat thins are my go-to so i have a fresh box waiting for my return.

2) have some caffeine on hand

you really should be guzzling water during and after travel but the best way to combat jet lag is to try and readjust to the local time. again, 15 hours is crazy so my body-clock is going to want to sleep at 10:30pm malaysian time…which will be 7:30AM in portland. that’s where my trusty oregon chai comes in.

we don’t drink full on caffeine any more. my husband has the energy of eight 12-year old girls at a sleepover=insane and it intensifies my anxiety so i’ve mainly cut it out. however, chai has just the right amount of caffeine for me to give me a little jolt and help me stay awake even when my body is fighting sleep.

3) clean your house before you leave

when you unlock your door to your home after being gone for an extended period of time, it helps to see those pretty lines in the carpet from your vacuum and things put away in their places. it’s calming to know this is done and can help you feel more at ease.

4) fresh sheets on a made bed

travel tips leave a house bed


i think we can all agree that there are few things more glorious than climbing into your own, fresh bed after you’ve been bouncing around from hotel beds and 30+hours on airplanes. just looking at this picture of our bed (with a sweet puppy on it) is already making me feel slightly better. make sure the sheets are clean!

obviously, don’t leave your dog there while you are gone DUH.

5) queue up netflix

make sure you have some good movies and series picked out and ready to watch. this will help you stay awake while fighting your heavy eyes. if you simply must sleep, try to keep naps to around 30-45 minutes when it’s during the day so it doesn’t throw off your night sleeping any more than it already is.

ps. remember to clear out your fridge with any food that will spoil and take out your trash!

1) what other things do you with your home when traveling?
2) how easily do you adjust to the local time in new places?
3) your go-to food when you are exhausted?


  1. Pingback: what to pack when traveling overseas | the new wifestyle

  2. Vivien

    August 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Before I went on my first trip across the Pacific to Hong Kong, I was told jetlag is easier coming back from Hong Kong to the West Coast. When I came back home I was wide awake every day until 2 a.m. and I went to sleep only because they stopped playing good TV shows around that time. I still managed to wake up at a normal time in the morning too! Reverse jetlag?

    P.S. Maybe same thing could happen this time for you and Ryan? 🙂

    • chelsea

      August 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

      ha here’s to hoping vivien!!! it’s currently hitting me harder than i’d like right now 🙂