Basically, jet lag is when your internal clock goes haywire and throws off balance. It’s a disruption that can affect how and when you sleep, how and when you eat, and when to be mentally alert. The scientific name of Jet Lag is Circadian Dischronism:
· Circadian meaning is something occurring in approximately 24 hours, and
· Dischronism meaning is a lack of order in an arrangement of events in their occurrence.
Depending on where you fly to and what new time zone you enter, it will take time for your body’s internal clock to adjust to the changes. NASA estimates that you need one day for every time zone you cross to regain normal rhythm and energy levels (i.e. a 5-hour time difference means you will require 5 days to get back to normal). At this time, there is no cure for jet lag nor is there a way to completely prevent it, but there are ways to help avoid and alleviate some of the of jet lag depending on your situation.
· If you are traveling through 1-2 time zones, you can ignore the new clock and stay on your regular sleeping and eating schedule until you get back home – no disruptions.
· If you have a longer stay through several time zones you’ll need to adopt the new schedule you are now living in.
· For long trips it will help you to start changing your schedule before you leave. Try changing your schedule 1 hour a day to shorten your adjustment time and help your internal clock prepare for the changes.
· What are the symptoms of jet lag?
· Disorientation, lack on concentration or fuzziness.
· Becoming irrational or unreasonable – “Losing it” is another symptom reported by aircrew. Going through customs and immigration and getting to the hotel often become tedious.
· will make it difficult for you to concentrate and enjoy your holidays or business trip.
· Discomfort of legs and feet – Limbs can swell while flying and can become very uncomfortable.
· Broken sleep after arrival – Crossing time zones can cause you to wake during the night and then want to fall asleep during the day. Your inbuilt circadian rhythms have been disturbed, and it can take many days for the body to readjust to the new time zone.
A report from the directly links jet lag with problems of caused by microbiological contamination of water or food, which it says affects about 50% of long haul travelers. “Factors such as travel fatigue, jet lag, a change in diet, a different climate and a low level of may aggravate the problem by reducing a travelers’ resistance and making them more susceptible to this type of infection or poisoning,” the report says.
There are a few ways to aid in reducing the symptoms of jet lag and make your transition a bit smoother:
Before You Fly:
· If you are experiencing any health problems, check with your doctor before you fly.
· If you have trouble with your ears while ascending or descending (i.e. not popping) you might want to consider taking a decongestant before boarding the plane or speak to your doctor for your best solution to this.
· Be calm. Avoid that last-minute rush. Try to have all your packing and papers in order the week before to help lower your stress level.
· Get plenty of rest.
· Be well hydrated and avoid caffeine (coffees/teas) as they dehydrate you.
· Plan to wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move. Planes can sometimes be very cramped and if you cannot get comfortable your stress level will increase and you won’t get the rest that you need.
While You Fly
· Try to avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine (coffee/tea), as it decreases hydration.
· To minimize the dehydration of your skin, apply lotion to as much of your body as possible and re-apply whenever needed.
· Be sure to set your watch to the new time zone upon departure to help prepare your mind for your new time zone.
· Try to walk around the cabin of the plane to exercise your limbs and stretch your muscles. This will also aid in keeping your stress levels low and help increase your circulation.
· Use earphones to listen to your choice of music or earplugs to reduce fatigue from cabin noise.
· Sleep on the plane if you are scheduled to arrive in the morning.
· Avoid taking Sleeping Pills – Some people use this to try to alleviate jet lag. Sleeping pills induce a comatose state with little or no natural body movement. Leg veins become bags of blood and when this blood doesn’t circulate there is a possibility that it will clot. Also many so-called sleeping pills are variants on antihistamines and they tend to dehydrate significantly adding to the already big problem of dehydration.
· Take along an eye mask, neck-rest, slippers, or earplugs and whatever else will aid you in sleeping on the plane.
· Stay awake on the plane if you are scheduled to arrive in the evening. Keep yourself busy with an activity, reading, needlework, or conversation.
After You Fly
· At your destination, walk barefoot on the ground, if possible, and/or swim in the ocean or soak in an Epsom salt bath. This will help ground your electromagnetic system.
· As soon as possible, stand in direct sunlight for 10-20 minutes without glasses.
· Start moving as soon as you get off the plane, e.g., use the stairs and avoid the elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks.
· Keep your mind off the time difference. Don’t think about what time it is at home.
· Get some exercise outdoors. Take a walk.
· Keep drinking plenty of water.
· Take a shower or bathe to help re-hydrate and refresh your body.
Doing all that you can reduce your jet lag symptoms will aid in your travel safety and enjoyment.
Note: this article was modified from its original publication posted by PageWise.
Comments by Sleep Master:
The simplest way to overcome Jet Lag when you are travelling across several time zones in the West direction is to do the following:
1. Try to have a bit of a nap while you travel in the airplane.
2. On the average, you need as much as 3-4 hours at the most.
3. It will keep you afloat through the day to follow.
4. Stay awake all day as soon as you arrive to the place of your destination.
5. Try not to fall asleep during that time.
6. If you have a chance to go to bad earlier that, let‘s say, 9-10 p.m. local time, make sure you postpone that time till about 10-11 p.m..
7. Going to bed at that time will be the best way to readjust your circadian rhythm one more time.
8. Apparently, your probability to acquire Jet Lag syndrome will be totally diminished.
This process is also good for the travellers going back from their trip to the West.