Advice about Jet Lag
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Advice about Jet Lag
We are about to travel overseas on an overnight flight and Melatonin
has been recommended to me as a way to combat jet lag - my concern is
that the warnings on the product I bought (all natural) says
specifically ''not for use by teens.''
I have done some basic research but can't get a definitive answer on
why I should not give it to my teen when boarding our flight (it would
be a minimal use).
Does anyone know if a very limited use like this (one or two days on
either end of a long trip) will have an adverse effect on her hormonal
system, or for that matter with my 10 year old as well?
Any info is greatly appreciated! I just want to make sure they sleep
on the overnight flight!
I have used Melatonin on many trips to Europe, and it has
worked great for me. I have also given Melatonin to my
six-year old, and it worked. I don't have any advice to
offer concerning teens. - Since you mentioned giving/taking
melatonin when boarding the flight, I wanted to say a word
of caution: Melatonin is *not* a sleeping pill. It will not
make you sleep, it just re-sets your internal clock. If you
or your children aren't able to sleep on the plane because
of the noise or being unable to get comfortable, you'll feel
as though as pulled an all-nighter. At times when something
prevented me from falling asleep after I took melatonin, I
had hangovers that I'd say were worse than hangovers from
sleeping aids or simple lack of sleep. - Make it through
the flight, get to your destination, make it through the day
(with or without naps), and then take the melatonin at bedtime.
Best of luck,
Grateful for melatonin
I've never heard that children/teens should not take
melatoning - did not realize it was written on the
bottle. My daughter (14) has taken it nightly for about
two years due to difficulty falling asleep - her circadian
rhythms just don't fit with the schedule she has to keep.
A lot of parents on a list-serve I'm on have used it with
Re: jet lag, everyone in my family (2 adults, 2
kids) used it last summer for a return trip Hong Kong to
the US to help with the jet lag. For 3 of the 4 of us it
was helpful. Do you have a healthcare practitioner who's
open to complementary medicine whom you could ask? Not
all would be knowledgable/open to this, however.
another parent - not a homeopath or MD
We are traveling to France this summer and i'd appreciate
suggestions on how to deal with jet lag in a six year
old--any creative solutions and/or remedies, etc. to try?
First Big Trip Overseas
We travel toFrance every year with our now 4.5 years old.
We just came back, and this was the first trip where he
had jetlag. Prior to that he would immediately adjust.
Sleeping on the plane makes a difference, especially
because it is soooo long and for someone that age
eventually boring. We gave him Melatonin and he slept
about 5 hours.
After that, what works for you works for them. The first
day we were up at 2am and just read and hung out until
morning. We had a wedding the second day and went to bed a
midnight and that was enough to set my son and husband to
the ''new time''. But overall after 16 years of doing this
yearly, my experience is that you should simply ''go with
the flow''. It will take about 3 days. If you can encourage
your child (and you) to take a nap it will make a
difference because he'll stay up later.
hope this helps
I suggest you try to take a late afternoon/early evening flight from
The Bay Area. Therefore, you will fly over night and will get there
11/noon - something like that. Your child can sleep on the plane. I
did this with my 9 Year old this past Thanksgiving and he had
absolutely no jet lag whatsoever. He did far better than me.
On the way home, it seems to me that all the flights enable you to
have daylight the entire way back ( 10+ European trips that I have
taken). It is relatively easy to stay up, and your youngster can go
to sleep early upon arrival and sleep through the night.
As far as planes, we flew Air France direct SFO to CDG. The flight
was fine but simultaneously horrible. There is absolutely no leg room
in coach and the food was inedible (and I will eat anything).
However, it was a direct flight, every seat has its own TV. Everyone
was polite and we were on time in both directions and all our bags
We travel to the UK 2X every year with our now 4YO since
she was a tiny baby. If your child sleeps some on the
plane and you keep the child awake until proper bedtime,
they bounce onto the right schedule pretty quickly.
Lucky you! I hope your trip is fantastic.
As for jet lag, there are several brands of homeopathic
products designed to help your body adjust to the new time
zone. The one I've used for many years is 'No Jet Lag'. It
was developed by the Kiwi's out of necessity, I suspect, as
they need to travel many time zones to get anywhere!
Check Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl or your small, independent
natural food store. Oh, and I'm fairly certain that it is
for use in children ages 6 and up (do read the box, though).
There's also a great yoga pose which will help: legs up the
wall. With your back, torso and head on the floor, elevate
your legs at a 90 degree angle up the wall and relax for
as long as you can. Repeat as often as you can/wish for the
first few days.
Happy Trails to you!
Our family is going to France for a couple of weeks to see my son's grandparents and I
am wondering if anyone has some good advice on handling jet lag to and from so that
we can enjoy our short vacation. Any advice is welcome!
We have been going back and forth to france with our 4 year old
since he was 3 months old. The first 3 times (3 months, 1 year
and 2.5 years) he wasn't affected at all. We took the non stop
flight on Air france and he slept well in the bassinet (the
first 2 times). Once we got to my parents (early afternoon) he
just went on with his day until 7.30pm, his regular bed time.
The last time, he did have some jet lag. He slept 5 hours on
the plane and since we stoped we got there late. He was awake a
bit in the middle of the night but we told him it was quiet
time and he was good.
A close friend does it as often and has more issue. We are more
schedule oriented but i don't know if this is why.
One thing i can say is that you should just do what you would
for yourself...just let your baby adjust ..he/she will just
like you do. there is not much you can do to actually plan it.
Help! I am giving a paper in Europe next month and have been scheduled
for a session that starts at 5 p.m., two days after arriving. From
past experience in traveling overseas I know that at that point in the
day I'll be almost comatose. I also remember that the second night is
usually worse than the first for me, which means that I'll be working
on even less sleep that day. Does anyone have any great methods for
overcoming jet lag? Thanks!
We regularly travel to Europe and while we don't suffer too badly
from jet-lag, our kids do. This is our Jet-Lag Reduction Plan(TM):
- Prior to leaving (from US) get up progressively earlier and
earlier and go to bed earlier and earlier each day. About an
hour extra each day, for as many days as you can stand. We might
manage 4 hours earlier on the day before travelling, built up
over 4 days.
- Flying is overnight, so the day of landing will be especially
unpleasant, but that's not a day for doing anything much anyway.
- After the landing day, there is only 4 (or 5) hours to make up.
- The return (from Europe) is easier, as the adjustment is by
staying up late rather than getting up early which I think most
people find easier.
I suppose you can look at this as shifting some of the jet-lag to
before the trip, but it does work (for us) and prevents any
extreme awake-all-night type behaviour.
Adrian Martin firstname.lastname@example.org
I have traveled to India, Asia and Europe many times and I always
take melatonin. You can get it at any health food store in the
It's a sleep hormone that your body naturally creates to help
establish circadian (day/night) rhythms. It has lots of other
benefits too, including being an antioxidant.
Whenever I take it I wake up feeling refreshed and not at all
druggy. It works differently with different people, though. So
start out before you go, taking a tiny dose to see how it affects
As soon as you begin your journey, start taking the melatonin
when it's ''supposed'' to be night in your destination city.
I never leave my time zone without melatonin!
I have found the homeopathic remedy No-Jet-Lag to be a life saver. I
travel to europe
every year to see my family and that has made a huge difference. It used
to take me
close to a week to acclimatize to local time, now I'm there the next
day. it's easy to
take - just take it every 2hrs from the moment you lift off until
landing. love it.
available at Elephant and i think I saw it at Berkeley bowl too.
I've had just the same problem, and I have come up with a remedy
that mostly works -- or at least it did when I lived on the East
Coast. The trick is to get your body as close as possible to
European time before you leave. Start a week or more in advance
of your trip by getting up an hour earlier every day -- if you
usually get up at 7, get up at 6, then 5, then 4, etc. Compensate
in the evening by going to be an hour earlier. Yes, this will
mean some scheduling difficulties, but do as much as you can,
because it means that you will hit the ground running. This
technique works very well, but I admit that it was easier on the
East Coast, where the time difference was only 6 hours. The
additional three hours here makes things harder, but again, do as
much time shifting as you can.
I don't really believe in homeopathy (sorry to the believers
out there), but a couple of years ago I started to use ''No Jet
Lag,'' a homeopathic treatment for jet lag. I swear it works.
It's a little package of small pills; you take one every two
hours while flying and upon take-off and landing. Since the
active ingredients in homeopathic remedies are tiny, it
certainly can't hurt, and it has helped me. Virtually no jet
lag for the last several European trips. I have a colleague
who says it didn't work for him, however... But worth a try.
Funny, I always have a much harder time coming back to the states...
Regardless, my method is pretty simple: as soon as I get seated
on the plane, I set my watch to the time it is where I'm landing,
and I begin to tell myself that this is the real time. If this
new ''false'' time is in the middle of the night, that means go
back to sleep. If it's 6 AM, I need to stay awake. Also, if
it's sleeping time, just pop some Nyquil or SimplySleep -- it's
so worth it. If you're worried about taking too much,
SimplySleep comes two pills per dose -- just take one. One
knocks me out, no problem, and I weigh 200 pounds.
I used a remedy called NoJetLag once, on a trip to France, and
it seemed to work well. They're pills, supposedly all natural
ingredients, that you take every couple hours on the flight
over. Bought at Elephant. Good luck!
Perhaps you could start adjusting to your destination's local
time a few days before your trip. I tend to travel to the East
Coast infrequently, but when I do, I start adjusting to the new
time zone a few days before my trip. That is, since there's a
3 hour difference between here and the East Coast, I'll go to
bed at 8:00 pm (instead of 11:00 pm) and wake at 4:00 am
(instead of 7:00 am). It makes for a quick adjustment to the
local travel time.
I used to travel to Europe for work often. I would generally arrive
at my destination, have one day to setup and then the following day
arrive at work at 7:30am.
The most important thing is to force yourself to be on the countries
time zone on your arrival day. No matter how tired you are do not go
to sleep when you get there. It can be tough. Take a walk, go get a
meal, stay out of your hotel room or it is too easy to just ''rest
your eyes for a minute.'' Then go to sleep that night at a normal
bedtime for the time zone you are in. You will wake up the next
morning and you will be fine. I always found it much more difficult
to come back to the States.
Another option is to ask your DR for a couple of Ambien. They will
usually be fine with prescribing a couple for travel. Be sure not to
take it unless you have a full 8 hours to sleep. After that, you will
wake up in the morning and be fine.
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