What is jet lag?
Jet lag is a term used to describe a range of temporary symptoms caused by air travel over different time zones due to the disruption in your internal 'body clock' or circadian rhythm. The symptoms materialise when adapting to the different light/dark schedule of a new time zone.
These symptoms can include the following:-
- disturbed sleep pattern
- loss of appetite
- difficulty in concentrating
- irregular periods
Jet lag is worse when you travel over a number of time zones and travelling east is worse than travelling west. When you travel east you effectively lose time and when you travel west you will effectively gain time and the body adjusts better to gaining time and having a longer day.
In most cases, jet lag symptoms pass in a few days but there are some things you can do to lessen the effects of jet lag in the first place.
Can jet lag be prevented?
It is difficult to avoid jet lag completely when you are travelling over a number of time zones but there are a number of things you can do to lessen the effects on you.
Keep hydrated - make sure she drink plenty of fluids and lay off the caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate you.
Get plenty of rest - before you go on your journey ensure you try and relax and get plenty of sleep beforehand.
Avoid sleeping tablets - these won't help your body adjust to the different time zones so are best avoided where possible.
Set your watch to the destination time - when you get on the plane if you set your watch it helps you mentally adjust to the different time zones.
Fly on a Dreamliner plane - a Boeing Dreamliner plane has a pressurised cabin at 6000 feet other than the normal 8000 feet, this means the cabin air is more dense and there is more oxygen saturation. This combined with LED lighting that subtly changes with the time zones and superior quailty air with 10 per cent more oxygen means less chance of jet lag.
Treatment for jet lag
On arrival stay awake until the local bedtime. If you find that hard try getting some fresh air and go for a brisk walk if it's daylight as this will also help you stay awake.
Establish a local routine straight away to get you and your body used to the country you are in and the time zone. Eat and sleep at the local time not the time you would at home.
Research has shown that sunglasses may help reduce the effects of jet lag, so wear these to emulate nighttime.
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Tell me, have you flown long haul? Have you ever experienced jet lag?