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If you’ve made it through a long international flight along with your children, a big congratulations! But you still have to deal with annoying jet lag and its effects. Get prepared with these tips and have you and the kids feeling yourselves again.
Understanding What Is Jet Lag
The body’s internal clock regulates wake-sleep cycles. When you travel to a different time zone, it takes a while to adjust your internal clock and routine to the local time. If there’s a time difference of eight or more hours, you may end up staying in bed all day and be awake all night. You may feel hungry at awkward moments and feel tired, irritated and unwell in general.
What causes jet lag?
When we experience daylight and darkness contrary to our home time, our internal clocks get out of sync and we feel jet lagged. But don’t panic just yet because you can use daylight and electrical lights to your advantage to adapt quickly to the new time zone.
A few tips to get over jet lag quickly
1. Prep them
Tune your watch to the local time as soon as you reach there. Distract your children so that they don’t think about what time it is at home. Jet lag is not completely inescapable, but the answer to how to avoid jet lag lies in prepping them before they go on the trip. You can start shifting their schedule around the destination time weeks before you leave.
2. Don’t fall for the nap-trap!
However enticing it may be, don’t let the kids take a short nap if it’s daytime at your destination. Instead, say hello to sunshine. You could take kids to a park and give them snacks or milk to keep them occupied. The more they bask in the sun rays, the easier it’ll be for their internal clocks to reset to the local time.
3. Be prepared for late nights or early starts
Keep some snacks and DVDs handy in case they get up in the middle of the night. Stay up with them for an hour or so if they can’t sleep at all, but gently remind them that they need to go back to sleep soon.
4. Jet lag in babies? Keep them hydrated
When travelling with babies, make sure that they get enough sleep and stay hydrated on the plane. When you set foot at your destination, try to feed them according to the new time zone. Keep them active during the day with sufficient milk and food. You can reset their internal clocks by keeping the room dark and quiet at night. Encourage napping whether with stories or a warm bath.
You need to take care of yourself in order to help your family deal with jet lag. Just keep in mind that it’s about maximising your exposure to natural daylight and eating and drinking well. These tips on how to prevent jet lag will help you travel fuss-free with your kids.