10 ways to beat jet lag when travelling with the family
Travelling can be tiring, and travelling with kids can be even more exhausting! Add this to jet lag and it’s a recipe for two very tired and agitated parents!
To help combat the jet lag on a long journey follow these 10 simple tips to help get you on track once you land.
Eat the right foods
Your diet has a big role to play when it comes to setting your body clock, and keeping your own and the kids energy levels high are key when expecting to suffer jet lag. Before you head off for your plane journey make sure you’ve all eaten your three balanced meals throughout the day and keep healthy snacks on you at all times to keep your energy high. Coffee and fizzy drinks are not great ways of stabilising your energy levels, and although you may feel they give you an instant kick, your energy will plummet quicker. Stick to fresh fruit for a natural sugar kick. When you’ve arrived, eat lots of protein and less carbohydrates. Protein helps to control your wakefulness, whereas carbohydrates make you sleepier.
Keep everyone hydrated!
Don’t forget your O2! Water is a life saver for many things, and one of them is jet lag. You should drink water everyday, but drink more throughout your flight, a few days before your flight and once you land to counteract dehydration from the dry air in an aircraft and keep your body in top form. This is especially important for breastfeeding mums as their milk supply can suffer from being dehydrated, so drink lots of water!
Eat before going to bed
When in a different time zone, one of the things that can wake you up is hunger. When your body thinks it’s lunch or breakfast time at 2am you’re going to naturally wake. Trying to stick to the new destinations’ meal times and giving everyone a snack before bed will stop the mid night waking, and also help you sleep as your stomach will be full.
Let your child nap at same naptime in new destination
Encourage your little one to nap when it is nap time at your new destination. It can be tempting to keep a child awake in the hope that they’ll fall straight asleep come bedtime, but this can run down your child’s immune system. Not something you want abroad!
Parents limit alcohol
We know, it’s hard to avoid that glass of wine to relax after you’ve just had a very long and probably stressful journey with the kids, but avoiding alcohol intake until you’ve adjusted to the new time will help your body clock reset so much quicker. Alcohol can lead to fragmented sleep and make you even more tired so it’s best to just avoid it until you’re over the lag.
Walk up and down plane aisle
While on the plane, take quick walks up and down the aisle, if only to the bathroom, to keep the blood flow going, stop swelling or pressure in the legs from long periods of sitting and overall refresh your mind and keep you and the little ones from boredom.
Try to adjust to time zone before you leave
Starting to adjust to your new time zone before you leave can help you knock the jet lag, and you only have to try and adjust by an hour to make the transition a little easier. If you’re flying east, try going to sleep an hour earlier a few days leading up to your flight. If you’re travelling west, stay up later than you normally would by an hour or two. This can help get your body clock used to the difference so it doesn’t suffer as big a change.
Try to stick to new destinations’ hours
Try to stick to your new destinations’ hours as much as you possibly can. That being said, if you’re about to crash, do sleep, but try to make it a nap. It may be tough to do at the beginning, so try setting an alarm to wake you back up. Expect the little ones to wake during the new night in the new destination, but keeping the room dark and cool, letting them play or eat and encouraging them to go back to sleep will help get them used to it.
Go for an early morning walk
When you arrive at your destination encourage everyone to get up for an early morning walk. Daylight can help reset your internal clocks, so an early morning walk and as much time spent outdoors as possible can be helpful.
Bring home comforts with you
You can’t take all your beds with you, but if possible, take yours and your little one’s pillow or blanket for some familiarity and comfort if you’re struggling to settle into a new bed or sleep routine. Keeping things as familiar as possible for the kids is best.
maternity & infant
Originally posted 2015-07-02 14:48:59.