Tips for coping with Jet lag

Tips for coping with Jet lag

Jet lag has ever really been an issue for me, despite travelling to America a few times as a teen and the Caribbean as a young adult, I’ve always just brushed it off. I mean, nothing a bottle of wine and a day in bed with crap TV can’t solve right?

Unless you’re a parent, then you’re effectively fucked.

Going to America, we didn’t have many problems. The first night that we were there (despite going to be late!) the kids woke up at 3am and flat out refused to go back to sleep, though it wasn’t an issue as none of us were tired anyway! It meant chilling out in the hotel room, having a play in the bath and beating everyone to the park because, well by 8am it was practically mid day anyway. We came home around 1pm, had a 2-3 hour nap and then took the kids out again (despite protests they were too tired!) until around 10pm… job done. Next day we were up early but not dramatically so, and all was well.

That is always the case for going to the states though, and to be fair no one minds a bit of jet lag when they are so excited to be somewhere. Coming home is a very different story. Who is excited to come home and go back to work? Not only that, instead of feeling wide awake and full of beans, you are exhausted and left in a constant cycle of what feels like the world’s earliest wake up followed by a desperation to sleep at around 8pm, but a total inability to sleep until 1/2am even though you are SHATTERED. It sucks, and with kids, it sucks hardest of all because you can’t get em to bed, once you do they are over tired so wake frequently and then waking them up in a morning is like some kind of bizarre puzzle on krypton factor, but with potentially flailing arms and lots of grunting.

I know, I’m not really filling you with the “let’s go to America” vibes, but I assure you, it’s well worth it, it just takes time to recover.

So tips for coping with jet lag?

  • Be realistic, don’t come back from a long haul trip and plan to get up and go to work or school the next day. It sounds like a good idea, force yourself back into the routine and into a normal time zone, but it doesn’t work and is likely to make you all feel far worse. It take a week minimum to follow recover.
  • Do get up at a normal-ish time though, it used to work when you had no commitments, sure, but it doesn’t with kids. Don’t insist that they get up at 7am, but don’t let the kids sleep too late (maybe use 10am as a cut off), set an alarm for yourself too.
  • Use the afternoons! Ok, you’ve got unpacking and washing, but you need to try and tire those kids OUT more than they already are in the hope that they will be tired enough to sleep at a “normal” time, even though their bodies are telling them its only mid afternoon. Try a SHORT trip to the park or soft play.
  • Try to keep meals at a normal-ish time too. Body clocks often work around food (well, mine does anyway!) and a full belly can signal rest time.
  • I ignore this advice every time, which is probably why I’m pretty much permanently exhausted after every holiday but TRY to avoid caffeine. I know, I know. Problem is it only exacerbates the problem and you then end up worse.
  • Try to do some exercise, even if its only going for a walk. Best of all, go for a walk in the sun (if there is any) as this boosts your vitamins and helps to release endorphins too. Winner, winner!
  • Last of all, book another holiday, that cheers everyone up – ha!

So those are my tips – just remember west is best, east is a beast. Don’t expect to come back from long haul and feel dandy, you won’t.

Any tips fellow travellers?

25 Comments

  1. Hannah
    October 9, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    So many great tips and so helpful for me cos I’m going on holiday soon x

  2. October 8, 2016 / 11:27 pm

    Very helpful tips, I have been to Mexico before and when I got back it took ages to get used to the time differences

  3. October 8, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    Great tips. I’ll keep these in mind for when we go away next year. I’m useless and reach for the caffeine straight away. X

  4. October 8, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    This post is really useful for battling jet lag. There is no quick fix but like you say exercise and food are a good way to get your body clock readjusted.

  5. nicol
    October 8, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    great tips! i get jet lagged really bad and i cave in easily when I’m tired

  6. October 8, 2016 / 9:16 am

    I have never really had jet lag either, and we travel a lot. But, we are due our first child and I am sure that is all about the change and I will miss the days that I never suffered from it.

  7. October 8, 2016 / 6:53 am

    Great tips! I’ve been worrying a little about jet lag, not for me but for my little one as he can be super cranky when tired or frustrated. We plan to go to Canada and that’s a long flight plus time difference so it has been on my mind. Glad I’ve read these tips though, booking another holiday does always cheer everyone up haha

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  8. October 8, 2016 / 12:30 am

    Great tips, I must show this to my parents as they will need this later this year.

  9. October 7, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    Some great tips here, jet lag can be so horrible!

  10. October 7, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    I think getting into a normal routine as quickly as possible helps, eating and sleeping as you would do helps the body adjust

  11. October 7, 2016 / 1:42 pm

    Fab post. I wrote a similar post some days ago. My tip would be adjust your body clock to suit your destination.

  12. October 7, 2016 / 9:48 am

    Some great tips here. I didn’t know how long it takes to feel completely back to normal before we went to Florida, and tried to go straight back to a normal work routine, fuelled by caffeine. Big mistake!

  13. October 7, 2016 / 1:46 am

    I always suffer so badly with jet lag! I’m heading to the maldives in january so will take your tips on board xxx

  14. October 6, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    Fantastic tips. I have been lucky enough to have yet to suffer from jet lag as I always do my absolute best to keep myself awake until the local time x

  15. Dani
    October 6, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    Unfortunately I’ve never been jet lagged but these were some great tips.
    I’m hoping to go to America sometime soon! 🙂

    Dani x

  16. October 6, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    This is a great post, jet lag is the only downside when travelling!

  17. October 6, 2016 / 10:13 pm

    I think these are some good ways to deal with and prepare for jet lag. I get it every once in a while. It’s not fun to feel like your day is being wasted!

  18. October 6, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Jet lag is one of the worst things that comes with a long haul holiday. I just try and stick to the routine of the time zone I’m in. But it’s easier said than done most of the time! x

  19. October 6, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    The last tip is definitely my favourite 🙂 I suffer terrible with jetlag but that will never stop me flying long haul. We took our 7 week old baby to America this year and he even seemed to get a touch of jetlag. Jo x

  20. October 6, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Funnily enough jet lag affects me more when going from the UK to the US. I wonder why that is. x

  21. October 6, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    I always try and ensure I stick to my usual routine once I am back in Blighty no matter how much I might want to sleep or have a nap, I do always feel so much better for it x

  22. October 6, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    Jet lag is always worse travelling east to west but I agree it’s much easier to get over when you are travelling somewhere exciting rather than home

  23. October 6, 2016 / 10:07 am

    Some good tips, It’s important to be realistic, I agree – I’m always surprised when people go back to work and complain about how tired they’re and wish they took the day off lol. The body needs to recuperate whether they feel it or not x

  24. John Davis
    October 5, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    We have been lucky to go East several times. Pick a decent airline with decent food, ie English food. A stop off in Singapore and hire a room in the transit hotel for 6 hrs so arrange flights for at least an 8 hour stopover. This allows for a refreshing shower followed by a 4hour sleep in an air-conditioned room. horizontal sleep is much better than crunched up in an airline seat.( unless you can afford 1st class). I watch all the films i can on the way out to Singapore. i.e. stay awake. From Singapore to Sydney I try and sleep so we get there at 7 am and I’m fine. Coming back is just grin and bear it.

    • October 6, 2016 / 6:05 pm

      Great tips! I had horrendous Jet lag when i came home from australia. There is literally nothing worse lol x

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