Jet lag is a disturbance of sleep patterns due to traveling across several time zones and a change in your circadian rhythms. Symptoms of jet lag include feeling drowsy during the day, wakefulness at night, stomach upset, and a general feeling of malaise. Because travel during pregnancy is common, discussing how to treat jet lag while expecting is common as well.
How do you treat jet lag naturally during pregnancy?
The CDC states, “Eastward travel is associated with difficulty falling asleep at the destination bedtime and difficulty arising in the morning. Westward travel is associated with early evening sleepiness and predawn awakening at the travel destination.” The more time zones you travel across, the worse your symptoms may be. However, there are a number of techniques you can try that should make traveling across time zones more comfortable and less tiring.
Treating Jet Lag Naturally During Pregnancy
Traveling during while expecting is common. Flying during pregnancy is one of the most common travel-related questions, which leads many expecting mothers wondering what can they do to manage jet lag during pregnancy.
There are a number of steps you can take to mitigate the symptoms of jet lag after traveling:
- Reset your clock—If possible, several days before your trip, try to rearrange your schedule to be closer to that of the place you are visiting. This can help you adjust more easily to the new schedule.
- Choose an evening flight—Picking a flight during your normal sleep time can help you adjust faster upon arrival.
- Short naps—If you are feeling very drowsy, you can take a nap, but keep them short—20-30 minutes.
- Sunlight—Exposing yourself to sunlight will aid your body in returning to a normal sleep cycle.
- Caffeine—Small amounts of caffeine are typically considered appropriate during pregnancy, and a cup of coffee in the morning may help maintain morning wakefulness. However, it is important not to drink any caffeine afternoon. Although limited caffeine is generally accepted, there are no amounts that are deemed safe completely.
- Drink water—Staying hydrated can help alleviate the discomfort of jet lag.
How to Treat Jet Lag During Pregnancy when Naturally doesn’t work.
If you travel frequently and experience jet lag on a regular basis, you may need to talk to your doctor about sleep aids that will help you maintain a normal sleep schedule. Before taking any sleep aids on your own, however, you should talk to your health care provider, as some sleep medications are not safe to take during pregnancy.
Want to Know More?
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Mayo Clinic
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention