Don't tell me what time it is at home!
I hope everyone is having a lovely week! I had the privilege of attending career day at my kids school on Friday. It was perfect timing for me, the Kindergarteners had just finished a unit on maps and globes. As a former Kindergarten teacher, it was really fun to go and share about my new career. They loved seeing my travel books, fun finds from places all over the world and telling me where they wanted to go. While they might not fully understand my job, I hope I inspired at least one to chase their dreams. I love my job!
I am not sure who is more excited in our house right now, we are all counting down the days until our next trip. It is exactly 1 week before we head to Hawaii. I am so incredibly excited but a tiny bit nervous too. I started pulling out all the warm weather clothes, which felt amazing. Now I am trying to get us ready for the actual trip...you know that long flight and 6 hour time change. So you are probably wonder how do I deal with lovely jet lag and what exactly is jet lag? According to the Mayo Clinic, jet lag is when your body crosses over multiple time zones and throws off your circadian rhythms or internal clock that helps to regulate your sleep and wake cycle. To help your body adapt to the time zone changes consider taking these things into consideration.
Tips to reduce Jet Lag
Before you travel
Alright, take a deep breath….relax your schedule at home before traveling. Yes, the less stressed you are before you travel the better off you are.
Get a good night's rest before you fly...be intentional about your sleep before traveling.
Try to pick a flight time that arrives in daylight
Just say no to booze...yup you know it. Naturally they cause you to be dehydrated and increase tiredness. You will thank me later.
No booze now no caffeine. Easier said than done for me. You don’t want to put anything in your body that can impact your natural sleep habits. Your body functions best when its hydrated so fuel up on water or if you need that taste of coffee drink decaf.
Set your watch to your destination time...physiological prep yourself for you new time zone. Make sure you have a device that has local time so you don’t miss the flight.
Move around to keep the blood flowing.
Avoid light, especially blue light. The light throws off your body time clock. Pack an eye mask incase the person next to you didn’t get this memo.
Eat meals to align with your new time zone. For example its 7 am at your destination, have breakfast. Fuel your body with nutritious food.
Try to sleep on the plane, if it's nighttime in your destination. So on the flip side if its daytime where you are headed, resist the urge to sleep. I am not good with that advice, I am famous for falling asleep before planes take off. If you need some help falling asleep pack eye masks, and ear plugs or try melatonin...I am not a doctor so you do the research. : )
Remember not to sleep too much. It can be tempting on a long flight when boredom sets in, but trust me if you are a little tired when you arrive it will be much easier to adjust to the new time zone.
Once you have arrived…
Adapt to new time-you may have to fight being a little tired but get outside and see light if its daytime. Eat meals based off local time.
Exercise-it will help to improve that bodies response and improve your sleep.
If you arrive in daylight don’t plan for an action packed day and certainly consider an earlier evening in. While you want to adapt you don’t want to over do it.
Kids are more resilient than you think, they bounce back from this far quicker than adults. Just like adults prep them for the upcoming trip, talk to them about the importance of sleep and try to pump some fluids in them.
Have fun, it will be worth throwing your body off for a few days!
If you overcome your fear of jet lag and long flights look at the beautiful places you can explore!