Are you looking for tips on how to Overcome Jet Lag when Travelling? Well the modern aviation industry allows us to do something that, just a hundred years ago, would be unthinkable. We can board a plane on one side of the world, and disembark just a few hours later on the other side.
One of the problems with this miracle is that, when we touch down, it’s often a completely different time of day than it was when we took off.
So, you might feel as though it’s time to go to bed, when, to everyone in the country you’re visiting, it’s time to have breakfast.
This is a well-documented phenomenon, and it has picked up an informal name: jet lag.
What exactly is jet lag?
Jet lag tends to occur when the differences in time zones are most acute. Cross three of them in a single flight, and you’ll tend to have problems getting to bed on time. Or you might feel completely exhausted in the middle of the day.
The circadian rhythm is something that controls the human body. This is a cyclical release of sleep-promoting hormones, which gets us to feel sleepy at night and alert in the morning.
This is an extremely effective biological mechanism, but it depends on our staying in the same place. For most of human history, this wasn’t a problem; with the invention of modern air travel, circadian rhythms have been heavily disrupted.
Incidentally, it tends to be harder to travel eastward than it is to travel westward. This is because it’s easier to delay going to bed than it is to go to bed early. If you’re flying west, you’re extending the day; if you’re flying east, you’re shortening it.
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The symptoms of jet lag
Symptom-wise, jet lag feels a lot like sleep deprivation, because that’s exactly what it is. You’ll suffer from exhaustion, concentration problems, brain fog, and memory loss. The greater the distance, the more severe the symptoms.
How to help cure jet lag
There are many natural ways to reduce the problem of jet lag. For one thing, you might try adjusting your waking and sleeping times before you set out so that they better match your destination. Avoiding stimulants like caffeine and napping when you arrive will be beneficial in the long term.
There are also pharmaceutical interventions to consider. Regulating your sleep with the help of drugs is difficult, and there’s no certainty about the efficacy of certain pills and supplements, like melatonin. Talk to your pharmacist if you feel that you’re struggling.
Finally, we should mention that hydration will help you to avoid the worst symptoms of jet lag, like headaches. Bottled water might be expensive in airports, but the benefits are hard to argue with.
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