Jet lag, a condition caused by an imbalance within our internal bodily clock, is often very difficult to overcome quickly, effectively and safely. Adults find it hard enough, so it’s natural to assume that young children will find overcoming jet lag even more of a challenge.
With 65.7 million visits abroad among British people alone in 2015, it’s clear to see that taking family vacations are hugely popular. Whilst the positives of traveling abroad far outweigh the negatives, jet lag can be a real nightmare for both you and your children when you get home. So, to discover some top tips on how to help your children overcome serious jet lag (or even just the standard hourly clock change!), keep reading.
Adjust your child’s routine in increments
Particularly effective for the daylight-saving hour change, taking action at least 12 days before the change is likely to make the experience a whole lot smoother.
Move your child’s entire routine ahead in small 15 minute increments every 3 days, including naps, eating times, and bedtime. Over a 12-day period, these small time changes will equate to an hour. By the time the actual hour change comes around, your child will have already been slowly adjusted and is likely to not experience much effect.
Get your children outside and active during daytime waking hours
The concept of ‘wearing your children out’ is rife within this method, and can help in getting them to sleep easier during the night time of your new time change. Unless they’re chronically tired and unable to function properly, getting your children outside for activities is a great way to ensure they’re concepts of day and night are maintained. This is likely to tire them out and get them ready for when bedtime is appropriate.
A great way to schedule this and set regular alarms for appropriate waking times is by using the Alarm Clock for Me app. Featuring unlimited alarm support and a useful sleep timer that will play soothing tunes (or white noise if preferable) to help your child drift off to sleep at bedtime, this free app will be extremely useful to add into your time change adjustment routine.
Wait and see
Whilst this may seem like common sense, many parents automatically think strategic plans need to be in place in order to help your child overcome a time change. Whilst this may be appropriate for drastic changes in time zone, a less intense time change may not require as much maintenance.
Put your plans aside and wait to see how your child reacts. Every child is different, and your strategy for tackling jet lag and time changes will need to accommodate their specific needs for you to achieve the best possible results.
Time changes are tough, regardless of whether they’re simple hour changes or huge time zone fluctuations. But, with the right attitude and a tailored plan in place, helping your children adjust to time change will be easier than you’d ever think possible!
Victoria Norris is a Mom who takes her kids exploring new places, new countries and new cultures at every available opportunity. She writes about her solo travel experiences, travel as a woman and travelling with kids.