Jet Lag Is A Drag - Tips?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by JustAKid, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    Are there any tips for how to beat the Jet Lag? I'm afraid that when I try to get my kids up at 5am EST (2am our time) they won't be able to do it! That, my friends, would be a real drag! :laughing:
     
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  3. stargazertechie

    stargazertechie Toy Story Midway Maniac

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    Can you get them started on eastern time a few days before your trip?
     
  4. JDUCKY

    JDUCKY Local Yocal

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    That, and sleeping well before and staying hydrated are usually the top tips from all of the travel mags and travel guides (like this one)
     
  5. Malakaiii

    Malakaiii Mouseketeer

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    Oooh another west-coaster! I'm also "looking foward" to the time change with my 2.5 year old who runs a very tight schedule! Eek.

    In my opinion, you have 2 options:

    1. Switch to the NEW TIME either before your trip or as soon as your vacation begins. This will mean putting them to bed a bit early (7pm EST bedtime 'feels like' a 4pm bedtime at home) and getting them up early. Move meals to the new time as well, but keep lots of extra protein-rich snacks on hand to help quell any meltdowns. Personally I would let them nap whenever, but make a "quiet time" mid-day to give them a rest.

    2. Stay on your home time. This is only a good idea if you're gone for less than a week. It will also mean that your kids will sleep in late and stay up late (according to the new time), so plan your park days accordingly! You won't be making any rope drops if this is your plan, but the evening extra magic hours will be your friend, and you'll definitely see the fireworks! This plan could also make planning meals a bit of a hassle (or a blessing!) because your kids will be hungry at off times.

    With either plan, try to factor in a few days of 'resetting' once you return home.
     
  6. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    Yes but...how might one do that? Have them wake up at 2am and sleep at 7pm for a week? It seems...impractical.

    Hey, thanks for the link. I didn't think of melatonin (for me, not them)
     
  7. JDUCKY

    JDUCKY Local Yocal

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    I wouldn't go to that extreme. You're only going to get them up that early for one day...the travel day. Just work on getting them in bed an hour earlier each night for each successive night. 9pm one night. 8pm the next night. Etc.

    Be sure they don't go to bed with any DVD players or TVs on, etc. The light from them is a deterrent to sleep.
     
  8. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    As one who jaunts to Asia on a fairly regular basis I have a few suggestions for jet lag.

    3 days before your trip (no more, no less), begin with a kind of fast. Stop eating at the first morning and wait until breakfast, east coast time, the next day to start eating again. If you must eat; no sugars, little if any carbs, especially no breads. If you must eat, have a rasher of bacon and a bit of cheese.

    On this second day, go to bed at your regular time but wake up 3 hours early. Yes, this will mean the family moping around the house for hours before you get on about your business (kids going to school...etc...). On this second day, eat your meals on Eastern Time and eat pancakes with fruit, sugar, and syrup. Or whatever, eat carbs. Eat simple carbs like confections and pastries. But only eat regular meals and eat them along eastern time schedule.

    Now your on the third day of this. Go to bed at your normal bed time but wake up on eastern time on the day of the trip. On the day of the trip, continue to eat along eastern time schedule but balance your calories with fatty proteins and complex carbs.

    You will not have any jet lag. I promise.

    Here's what's happening (if you care). Your body's sleep schedule is a biological clock. Your clock gets set by your environment and everyone assumes that to mean light/dark sunshine type things. The number one thing that sets your sleep schedule is your diet. Fasting lets the mainspring on this clock run out. It's mostly simple carbs that impact your circadian rhythm, I would guess it has something to do with insulin levels or other hormone responses ... but I'm not a doctor.

    There's research you can read about diet affecting sleep schedules if you like, I'm not a total nutter (yet). I flew back and forth from Detroit to Japan and Korea enough to have fully tested this regimen out.

    Also, and not for the kids so much, if you can't work through this 3 day plan get paralytic drunk your first night there or back. You will have a hangover but it will fade in due course and you won't have much if any jet lag. Not sure why this part works, but excessive liqueur intake is my first line of defence whenever there is a problem and it payed off for this one.
     
  9. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Common sense is so rare, should be a Super Power.

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    1) I used to fly to Europe every 3-months & Asia every 6-months.
    2) This is how I beat Jet Lag when going West-to-East.
    . . . drink lots of water on the plane
    . . . do not drink alcohol, sugary soda, or eat carbs on plane
    . . . place a Mag-Lite behind your knee and keep it on during flight *

    * Yes, the Mag-Lite sounds dumb. But, it tricks the body's circadian
    rhythm. I read about it and tried it once and it worked like a charm on
    my flights for over 10-years.
     
  10. Disney93

    Disney93 Another Disney Fan

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    As someone that travels cross country like you, our way of dealing with the time change is to ease into it. Our first full day is always settling in. Taking it easy with some shopping and unpacking. We always spend 10 to 14 days in the World so we can use the extra time to adjust. Our traveling group age ranges from 2 weeks old to 60 years, so it takes different time for each of us. I will say that the adjustment has never been a problem but we don't go crazy when we land either. Best advice I could give is don't worry about it, just enjoy your vacation. :cool1: Bring some of that warmer weather back too.
     
  11. lyra2007

    lyra2007 Mouseketeer

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    My DD (4) and I fly from Oregon to the east coast several times a year. She never has a problem. If we leave early, she's up early and goes to bed early (I mean 730 or 8, east coast time). She wakes up ready to go at her normal 730-8 AM.

    If we leave in the afternoon, we arrive around midnight. This is harder because she didn't get up early. And you have to weigh keeping her up late the night before against the increased possibility of a travel meltdown. But it helps that the excitement of flying usually keeps her from napping. She goes to bed when we arrive, and I don't let her sleep past 8, even though that's not enough. The first day we either chill or I make sure she naps, but not for more than a couple of hours. If your kids don't nap, make them swim and tire them out! She goes to bed at 730 or 8 and she is set.

    As for me...zolpidem!
     
  12. mitchwebb

    mitchwebb DIS Veteran

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    I worried about the three teens and being at the park during the last week in Decmeber. They do get up early for school 6:30am and will try to get them up a hour earlier a couple days before but since it is Xams break I'm not sure how well this will work. I know from experience we need to be at Mk before rope drop.

    It will be a experince and we will do what we can :thumbsup2
     
  13. bleeps

    bleeps DIS Veteran

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    We're usually in our regular school/work routine right up until the day we travel, so we aren't able to adjust our schedules ahead of time (when we travel cross-timezones).

    But we do find that it really helps to change your watches to the new timezone the MOMENT you get on the plane, start behaving as though it is the time on your watch, and NEVER do the "so what time is it 'our' time?" translation because it just reinforces to your brain/body your "old" timezone.

    There's a certain amount of excitement/adrenaline that first day and we've found that it can really carry you through the adjustment.
     
  14. jennylyn_b

    jennylyn_b Disney Fan for Life :)

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    Get them out in the sunshine. The body's internal clock syncs with the sun and helps them get adjusted quickly. So when you get to your destination try to get the out for a bit so they adjust.
     
  15. Crickey

    Crickey Mouseketeer

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    Flying for England to States we should get Jet Lag but very simple thing to do

    Drink Water and keep hydrated your kids will be fine they wont be tired because they will be excited about being at Disney World

    On the way back they will get tired and will take a couple of days to recover
     
  16. 2Tiggies

    2Tiggies <font color=blue>I am subscribing to this thread j

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    You are absolutely right. We have a 5 hour time difference and you're spot on with the eating and how it affects your body clock. Our problem is on the way back from Florida as we are 5 hours ahead of EST and fasting at Disney is not an option :lmao: BUT on our check out day, we start eating in our normal time zone hours, so lunch that day is our dinner for the day. No eating on the flight, until breakfast time (proper breakfast time)

    This has worked every year for us except one .... the one where I ignored the advice!
     
  17. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    Another thought on this... I went back through some of my early travel logs reading about horrific my jet-lag was...

    In my experience, the trips back don't seem so bad. But something to add in the 'Better living through pharmacology' subheading is Modafinil. Talk to your doctor and express your concerns about severe jetlag. Modafinil (sometimes pro-vigil) is a not-narcotic, non aphetimine, wake-you-up-er (that's a word now ... because I say so that's why.)

    Basically, even after being awake all night, you take one and in 30 minutes you feel the same as if you slept 8 hours. Not caffeinny or jazzed up, just really well rested. Set your alarm clock to 30 minutes before you need to be alert and functional and take a dose. Then fall back asleep and when the alarm goes off you'll be wide awake and clear headed.

    Take an ambien at bed time the first day and after that you should be fine. Until you get home anyway.

    Should say again ... not really a good option for kids. You wanna get the stink-eye from a pediatrician, ask what the right dose of ambien is for a 4 year old. Yeah ... ha ha ... He didn't think it was funny either.
     
  18. csummerlin55

    csummerlin55 Mouseketeer

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    Not sure what age your kiddos are but my older two take melatonin. (They are 10 & 14 now but have been taking it for a few years.) If you're open to the idea you could speak with their pediatrician and see what they suggest. Do your little ones take allergy medicine like Benadryl? If so you could change the time you give them that so if it makes them drowsy it is when you are wanting them to go to sleep.
     
  19. akaler2010

    akaler2010 Mouseketeer

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    My biggest suggestion is a mental trick. Once you are in the new time zone, only use that time. Don't say, "it's 9am but at home it's only 5" or "it's 9am here but your body thinks its 5am" etc. Don't fall into the trap of allowing your mind/body to acknowledge the time difference. For me, this has really helped trick my brain into the new time quickly.
     
  20. Gamegrl1

    Gamegrl1 Mouseketeer

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    I haven't used melatonin personally but my cousin & her husband use that when they go from the West Coast to Europe and it seems to work for them.

    The tip I'll second is about sticking like glue to your new time zone when you arrive. When we flew from the west coast to Paris, France, we arrived early in the afternoon (their time) and right away made ourselves stick to it. That meant staying up for about 7-8 more hours until it was their bedtime and getting up at the "normal" time the next morning (around 7-8 am) to sightsee. With the 9 hour difference it took us about 3 and 1/2 days to be fully adjusted.

    Thanks for the tips...I'm considering going to bed an hour or so early the week before the trip and getting up early too...my boss is a WDW fanatic so she'll understand if I want to show up for work an hour early...it's all for a good cause!
     
  21. DebbieB

    DebbieB DIS Veteran

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    This works for me. I used to travel frequently from PA out to the west coast for work and have more recently flown out to Disneyland, never had an issue with jet lag.
     

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