I am sitting at the airport waiting for a mid afternoon flight to Sydney, Australia. By far the shortest of the many flights Across the world that i have taken in the past two weeks. My body still thinks I am in Delhi, India and that it is 9 o’clock in the morning. So for the first time today I feel hungry – for breakfast?
Jet lag is an inevitable downside of travelling
Taking long haul flights doesn’t get any easier as you get older. I don’t get tired of the actual travel but the body clock adjustment process is a real nuisance.
Drinking plenty of water, avoiding processed foods and starting to adjust to the destination time before you depart are all good tips for dealing with jet lag. I have tried the stay out drinking (alcohol) until you hit the correct time and collapse into bed approach with mixed success over the years. But ultimately time and patience are required. Accepting that it will take around a day for each hour you have gained or lost by crossing time zones is part of travel.
Of course once you start travelling with children the jet lag challenge is multiplied. Just imagine trying to get some sleep after a long journey only to be greeted with this:
A child is not able to understand why they are awake and hungry in the middle of the night. If you are like me, the thought of your child’s sleep patterns being disturbed – the solid night’s sleep you worked so hard to achieve – gives me a horrible fear in the pit of my stomach.
It is also not great when you have to negotiate travel realities like buying a train ticket here the next day:
Thankfully my little Miss Walkie Talkie always adjusts back to her regular 11 hours and often much more quickly than I do. And like mother like daughter there is no better strategy for dealing with jet lag than dancing!
What’s your strategy for dealing jet lag? Comment and share your own jet lag remedies.
Happy travel dreams (and sleep well).
Natasha von Geldern is a travel writer, editor, and blogger who is passionate about making the pages of the atlas real by traveling the world. She is a contributor to Travel Wire Asia, Wild Junket Magazine, Yahoo! Total Travel and Travelbite. You can find her on World Wandering Kiwi.