It is a common belief that jet leg seems undeniably worse when you travel east. The body just doesn’t seem to readjust as quickly. When I travelled east pre-chilren I would have a sleep strategy for on the plane to prepare my body for the time change. But travelling with a toddler is very much a case of let sleeping dogs lie on the plane! I’d much rather deal with a grumpy jet lagged child at the destination rather than on a plane. So here are my tips for dealing with jet lag going east with kids.
Dealing with Jet Lag Flying East
Make the journey as comfortable as possible
Nothing is worse than a tired small child in a small space. On the plane, we let our little one sleep as she wants. Make sure you make the journey as comfortable as you can for them. Ring ahead and see if you can get a bassinet for a little one and get any sleeping aids for older children that you think might help them.
The dream would be business class flights so everyone can have a bed. But that is not realistic for everyone.
Adjust to Local time
Whenever I travel, I always set my watch to the local time when I get on the plane. It is important once you are off your flight to make sure you force yourself to the new zone. This includes:
Eating the Correct Meals at the Correct Times
Nothing gets the body use to local times like eating breakfast in the morning. Whether it is mental or physical – I don’t know but having the correct meal schedule helps your body readjust to the new timezone.
But remember …
You will need lots of snacks
Although it is important that you have the right meals at your right time, children may wake up hungry . Keep lots of snacks in your room so you don’t have a middle of the night meltdown.
If you have a bedtime routine, do it. Children know their routines and it may help to prepare them to go bed when they might not be feeling tired.
Nothing helps sleep more than a dark room. Make sure you get the room as dark as you can to get the kids into a relaxed, sleepy state.
Daylight helps jet lagAnd if dark helps sleep, then the same is true for the daytime. Get out and into the sunshine as much as possible. Exercise and daylight will help the body readjust to its new time setting
Still worried about jet lag going East? Why not split your journey
Why not think about splitting your journey. If you are travelling a long distance, you could stop somewhere in the middle so it isn’t such an extreme time jump.
For more parental guidance on jet lag check out this fab guide by mini travelers and our friends at learning escapes