I went to Sweden for Microsoft TechDays a couple weeks ago and right before I left I found out my sessions were at the end of the day on both days, which was fantastic! I thought to myself – should I change over to the local time zone, which was nine hours ahead of my home time zone of Pacific?
I wrestled with this on the train from Arlanda all the way to Stockholm Central. Got to the hotel, unpacked my stuff for the two nights I would be there and said “screw it, I’m taking a nap” – well this was at 1:30pm local time and I got up at 3:30pm. I spent the rest of the day wandering around the city, watched an England Euro cup qualifier and went off to bed at 5:30am the next day.
Feeling overly refreshed, I got up around 3pm and met my friend Robert (MS guy) and we went for what I would consider breakfast – he considered it a late lunch. It was 3:30 in the afternoon and I had been up for about 30 to 45 minutes. We went to a fantastic restaurant called Grill Ruby where I was able to get eggs – and a beer! It was my breakfast beer. Well, turns out having a beer when you get up from a night’s sleep is not the best thing. We wandered around a bit and I took a nap at 9pm for an hour. I got back up, went back to the same restaurant for a late lunch and then worked out in the gym.
This cycle went on for the entire five nights I was there. The hardest thing I found was to make sure I was sound asleep by the time the sun came up and next was to find food. On any given day, I would wake up between 2:30pm and 3:45pm – and I would go to bed around 5am to 7:30am. Most restaurants closed at 11pm or earlier, which was just about lunch time for me. To have dinner would mean I would need to stay up until about 6am to get breakfast in the hotel. Well, this does not work out that well with the sleeping before the sun comes up rule, so I’d often skip dinner.
This really was a fun experiment, one which I will do again. Wandering the streets at 4am in a city is totally different than doing it during the day. If you can manage your food intake, meaning it when food is available, you’ll do fine. Give it a shot, let me know how it goes!