What is jet lag?
jet lag /noun/ extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones.
Jet leg is the worst. And it is pointless trying to escape the angry clutches of this beast; however there are tiny ways to repel the little monster like kryptonite. I wish I could practice what I preach, but even I fall prey to it’s ugly little ways. All I can say is, I am far from sweetness and light come day two of travel.
In fact, JetSet Tot starts to grow fangs around hour 30 as well, so I’m just going to chalk-it up to “it must be hereditary.” I know, I know, but whenever I can place blame on the genes and not parenting, I so will.
Truth is, if you are planning to do battle with jet lag, individualized and personalized strategies work the best. Knowing your own body’s chemistry, as well as your child’s can make a world of difference the next time you decide to globe-trot across multiple time zones. But as any Jetsetting Mom knows, this my friends, is simply unrealistic.
But is it that unrealistic for your traveling tots? I mean, they don’t have to deal with the stresses of last minute packing, prepping the house, remembering passports and tying up loose ends. So why can’t they start adjusting their lifestyles a few days before jetting off? Hey! It’s worth the shot, right?
- Do drink plenty of water. In fact, don’t drink anything, but water. And only add lemon if you really must.
- Do not drink alcohol. That little glass of cheer on take-off will do much more harm than good. Caffeine is also no bueno. (I wish I could practice what I preach.)
- Do sleep as much as you can on the flight. It’s ideal to book a night flight so your body will become naturally tired.
- Do not eat crap. Eat clean before your trip and small meals once you land. You’ll be doing everyone including yourself a big favor. Your tummy will thank you.
- Do play the cool-guy part and rock those sunglasses throughout the flight and until you arrive at your hotel. Sure you might look like those ridiculous hipsters, but introducing sunlight gradually will help tremendously.
- Do not forget the laptop, iPhone and TV. Those need to be dimmed if used as well. Actually, just avoid them all-together. Light is light and jet-lag feeds off it.
- Do consider checking with your doctor about taking a mild sleeping pill or Benadryl, but DO NOT under any circumstances mix it with even the tiniest bit of alcohol. 35,000 feet up in the air is not the place to have any type of reaction and your fellow passengers might tie you to the wing if you pass out and snore.
And remember: East to west? Easy-peasy. West to East? Nightmare. So give yourself a little more adjustment time. I’m not saying cutting off valuable travel time once you reach your destination, but try and give yourself a little more wiggle room before departure.
Biggest time saver? Lists. Make a packing list and don’t wear those items starting a week before your flight. This way they are washed, pressed and ready to go.
This is Captain JetSet Mom speaking. We’ve secured the cabin and we’re clear for take-off.
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Photo credit: “Time Is On My Side” by Eric Flexyourhead
This post was authored by Nicole Standley and originally featured on Savvy Sassy Moms January 9, 2014.