If you're like most people, one of the worst parts of travelling is dealing with jet lag, especially if you're traveling with kids who may not understand the concept of sleep cycles. Most people attempt to avoid it like the plague, with little success. Hopefully, though, the following tips will help you keep jet lag at bay.
Jet lag is fatigue and disorientation caused by extensive air travel that crosses time zones. A common symptom you can experience is disrupted sleep once you reach your destination - you find yourself waking up at 3am, and not going back to sleep until 7am! Here's how to ensure jet lag doesn't ruin your family vacation!
There are a number of tactics for dealing with jet lag. First, before you ever leave the airport is one of the most important times to deal with jet lag. Make sure everything you need to take care of is dealt with in the manner it should be. This can help improve your mood and emotions. Stress can only contribute to jet lag, as can exhaustion.
Drinking plenty of fluids is a good way to avoid dehydration. As dehydration sets in, the blood capacity is lessened, and the ability of your blood to carry oxygen is depressed. If dehydration continues long enough, it can cause a dip in blood pressure, along with dizziness, nausea, or fainting. Essentially these are the same symptoms as heat exhaustion.
Continuing past this point may cause heat stroke. If heat stroke occurs during dehydration, the body temperature rises. During heat stroke, the body no longer sweats. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, infrequent urination, fatigue, and dry skin. It is best to drink as much fluids as possible, between 1.5 to 3 litres per day, and this does NOT include alcohol, soda, coffee and tea!
TIMING OF SLEEP ON THE FLIGHT
You might also consider some sleeping aids while you are traveling to prevent jet lag. If you must rely on medication, do so only under the advice of a doctor. Otherwise, try things like blindfolds, soothing music, ear plugs, or blow up pillows that airlines offer. You might even consider taking your shoes off on the plane for maximum comfort.
FOLLOWING THE SUN
When you reach your destination, especially if the flight was a redeye or over 7 hours long, the temptation is to take a nap, even if it's mid morning or the middle of the day. This is a no-no!
Getting some exercise after the flight, and staying awake until evening time (at your destination) are critical to adjusting and putting a stop to jet lag.
If all fails, jetlag usually wears off after 3 or 4 days from the time you arrive, so plot in extra time to adjust to your new time zone! Happy travels!