Jet lag: How to beat it.
If you have been accustomed to long distance travel, you will be all too familiar with having to deal with the jet lag that comes with it. Whilst you may find it a struggle to deal with it yourself, imagine what it’s going to be like when you are travelling with the family all suffering from jet lag? Here are a few top tips on how to beat jet lag from MOLLY MAID, the domestic house cleaning experts.
The most crucial element to consider with jet lag is the actual time difference between your home and your new destination, rather than distance itself.
Time difference: Try keeping yourself and your children on ‘home’ time for differences of two hours or less. Over the course of a week or more, everyone will probably adjust to local time naturally, but there’s no need to rush things.
Sunlight: The biggest help for adults and children to overcome jet lag and to adjust to the new time difference is sunlight – or rather showing your body when it is light and when it is dark. No matter how tired the family may be, the trick to getting over jet lag is to encourage everyone to get up first thing in the morning and to expose them to as much daylight as possible. Then again at dusk or night time to help your body readjust. During night time, try to keep the lights out and if you have blackout blinds or curtains, keep them closed.
Mealtimes: Unless you are only visiting country for 48 hours or less, then try to help acclimatise your family by eating at local mealtimes and ensure they do have something to eat before bedtimes to help them sleep. Eating healthy and well balanced meals will help, but do make sure to avoid ‘junk’ foods as the sugar they contain only make the problem worse.
Exercise: Exercising is the most natural and recommended way to encourage your body to sleep (along with lack of light). So, make sure you do some physical activity together whether it is exploring a city by foot, going swimming or even just visiting a playground.
Bed times: It is important that you find time to rest and sleep in order to stay bright and alert for your family and to help you overcome jet lag. So, do try to have a few early nights at first and if your children are still at the age where they are having an afternoon nap, do indulge as the likelihood of you being woken up in the early hours of the morning is relatively high!
Afternoon sleep: If your children feel like having an afternoon nap, allow them to, but for no more than one hour. Although it can be tempting to wear them out by trying to keep them awake so they will sleep later, the grouchiness that follows is simply not worth it! Added to which, there are schools of thought that depriving your child to sleep off a bit of a jet lag, can potentially run down their immune system. Remember that helping your child to sleep on the plane or in the car, will ensure that you and them don’t arrive at your destination overtired!
Expectations: Overcoming jet lag is not easy for your body to do, so try to give it a helping hand by exercising some of the above suggestions. It is realistic to expect that your children will need four or five nights to adjust to a new time zone.