Flight Schedules and Jet Lag
My fight arrives in Paris at about 2 A.M. California time, which is the time my body will still be on. If I'm very lucky I might get to sleep by 11 P.M., which is quite early for me, and get a couple of hours of sleep before they wake us up for breakfast and landing. More likely it will be one hour or less.
Suppose the flight left about seven hours later. The people who are paying my expenses generously bought me a business class ticket, which means almost fully reclining seats, so with luck I could get about eight hours sleep. But I would then arrive in Paris, rested, at about 6P.M. Paris time. My chance of getting to sleep at anything close to an appropriate time that night would be close to zero, with the result that it would take me several more days to adjust my sleep schedule to my new location.
I conjecture that the optimal schedule, for me, would be somewhere between those two. Leaving about three hours later than my current timing would give me about four hours sleep and get me to Paris, short of sleep but functional, at about 2P.M. With reasonable luck I could get to sleep not much after midnight and be functioning on something close to Paris (actually London) time the next day.
Does that look right to other people? If so, would it make sense for airlines to arrange their schedules accordingly? They know that essentially everyone flying from San Francisco to Paris is going to be facing a jet lag problem, so why not adjust their schedules to deal with it as best they can?