Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Defeating Jetlag

I just got back to Singapore about 2 weeks ago, bringing my nephews (7 and 8) back with me for the summer.

My best friend just got back to Singapore for the summer too, bringing along her two little guys, ages 4 years and 5 months.

jetlag + kids = difficult

We've all recovered well from jetlag at my house, and my friends seem to be doing exceptionally well with it this year too, even the little ones. The 4-year-old hasn't done very well with it in the past, so it's especially good to see him coping well this year.

Jetlag isn't always easy to handle, especially for kids, since they don't really understand why their system has gone haywire. I've found that there are a few things that work.

The trick has been keeping everyone up till bedtime, and not allowing heavy sleep at odd times (regular nap times for the little guys are ok, but not longer than usual.)

This evening we really got it all together, I think. We took all the kids running before dinner, letting them get their exercise. That seems to really help too, as does drinking plenty of water and avoiding other drinks (carbonated, sweet, and/or caffeine).

If you don't give in to the weariness — which is intensified when you are taking care of kids — then it seems that you can overcome jetlag very quickly. I've heard of a lot of little tricks here and there, including pills (both "medicine" and herbal), that are supposed to work. The most effective thing I know of, though, is simply discipline. Don't give in to the urge to sleep at odd hours. Force yourself to eat regular meals at the regular time. Try to stay in bed when you wake up unreasonably early, even if you can't sleep. Exercise. Drink plenty of water. If you stay pretty disciplined with those things it will just take a few days to get over jetlag.

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silken said...

I've heard it takes a day for every hour of time difference, which is right about two weeks in your's pretty hard to instill that discipline when your eyes are rolling back in your head! :)

silken said...

I wanted to let you know that I started a new blog at my own domain ( w/ another to hopefully follow soon! I added you to my blog roll. this one is still brand new, but maybe you can stop by and check it out sometime...