A Complete Guide To Know What Jet Lag is and How to Get Over Jet Lag !!

  • Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Overcoming Jet Lag

    Many people find long-distance plane travel to be extremely taxing due to the hassle of check-in, security lines, and the hours spent stuck in a small space. Jet lag is often a result of long flights. Jet lag is the misalignment between your body's internal time and the local time at your destination. This happens often when you fly across multiple time zones.
    Jet lag can disrupt your sleep and cause discomfort that lasts for several days, if not weeks. Knowing about jet lag can help travelers make long-distance travel more enjoyable and less disruptive to their sleep and overall health.

    If you think you can relate to it continue reading to know what is Jet lag, its symptoms, prevention, treatment and duration:

    What is Jet Lag?

    Jet lag refers to a circadian rhythm sleep/wake disorder. It occurs when your 24-hour internal rhythm, also known as your circadian rhythm or your local day-night cycle, is not in sync with the local day-night cycle.

    Normal circumstances will see a person's circadian rhythm align with daylight. This internal clock syncs with the 24-hour days to promote quality sleep and good mental health. As the sunrise and sunset occur at totally different times, a person's geographical location can affect their circadian rhythm.

    A person who travels east or west over three or more time zones is known as a jet leg. If you fly from Los Angeles, California to New York at 8 p.m. and arrive in New York at 5 p.m., the body may still function as if it was in L.A. Jet lag can lead to you feeling tired, more awake than usual, and even sleeping later than you would like.

    Jet Lag Symptoms?

    The Most common symptoms include:

    • Sleeping difficulties: You may find it difficult to fall asleep when and where you want. Or you might wake up earlier than you have planned. Sleep fragmentation can also be caused by jet lag.
    • Impaired Thinking: You might experience memory and attention problems, or feel your thinking is slowing down.
    • Impaired physical function: You may feel tired and your peak performance may be compromised, especially for athletes who travel a lot.
    • Emotional problems: Some people who have jet lag feel anxious and depressed. Evidence suggests that jet lag can cause mental health problems such as mood disorders.
    • Feeling general malaise: It can cause you to feel malaise. This is a feeling of discomfort, sickness, or uneasiness.
    • Stomach problems: Jet lag can cause gastrointestinal problems such as decreased appetite, nausea, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome.
    • Seizures and sleep paralysis: In some cases, jet lag can have an impact on sleep architecture. This could increase the likelihood of nighttime seizures.

    These jet lag symptoms can occur after long flights to other time zones. This is because disruptions to your circadian rhythm affect how and when your body makes hormones that impact sleep and other bodily functions.

    It is a condition in which one or more symptoms are experienced by people. The symptoms can appear immediately after landing or within a few days. Many people experience sleep problems the next day after returning from a flight.

    The symptoms generally persist for between 1-1.5 days and 2 weeks depending on where you are located. However, the duration of symptoms will vary depending on who is experiencing them and the details of your trip.

    Jetlag Symptoms.jpg

    Is there any treatment that exists for Jet Lag?

    Currently, there is no treatment for jet lag. Also, there are no medical approaches that can reset the body's clock. Researchers have explored several options.

    These include controlling light exposure, or possibly one or more of these:

    • Chrono biotic drugs such as melatonin can shift your sleep rhythms.
    • People can travel while they sleep with drugs such as benzodiazepines.
    • Stimulant drugs such as caffeine
    • Modafinil and other medicines for sleep apnea or other disorders such as Provigil are available.
    • Adjustment of mealtimes while on flights

    Although some people use melatonin or sleep aids, there is not much evidence to support their effectiveness.

    Early research suggested that drugs could be used to target genes involved in the regulation of the body's clock. Although mouse studies suggest this may work, such treatments won't be available for long, if ever.

    Tips for avoiding jet lag

    When you are jet lagged, it is important to identify factors that can help you manage or reduce jet lag, such as the timing of meals and exercise.

    These tips may help to minimize the effects of jet lag:

    • Go to bed at least 1-2 hours sooner than you did in the previous few days.
    • Travel with plenty of water and avoid alcohol.
    • Stretching and exercise are great ways to keep yourself active.
    • When it is a night at your destination, get some sleep.
    • To reduce light and promote sleep, use an eye mask
    • As soon as you arrive, establish a time and sleep schedule that is appropriate for your destination.
    • Outdoor time will aid in the adjustment.
    • Avoid sleeping too late at night and sleep in the morning.
    • Keep alert after a trip by exercising.
    • You can take a nap upon arrival, but not more than 20 min.
    • If you travel westward, it may be helpful to seek out bright light at night. After traveling eastward, look for a bright light at dawn.
    • For trips lasting between 2 and 3 days, it is important to maintain the same eating and sleeping schedules as at home.
    • Melatonin supplements can also be taken by some people to help with jet lag.

    Prevention to stop Jetlag.png

    What are Jet Lag and Travel Fatigue Different?

    After a long day of travel, it's common to feel exhausted. This can sometimes be mistaken for jet lag but it is often due to travel fatigue 18. Due to the physical toils of traveling, travel fatigue can cause tiredness and headaches.

    The cabins of planes can be subject to dehydration 19 as well as respiratory problems 20. Long-term sitting can cause swelling and bloating due to changes in air pressure. With frequent interruptions in flight, it can be difficult to lie upright in an airplane seat. This makes it challenging for passengers to get quality sleep in transit. These factors can all contribute to feelings of exhaustion after long flights, but this is different from jet lag.

    On the other hand, travel fatigue doesn’t happen due to circadian rhythm disruption. Travel fatigue is not a condition that includes disruption to circadian rhythm. You can experience both travel fatigue and jet lag at the same time after a long flight. But jet lag is more likely to cause severe and persistent symptoms.

    How long does jet lag last?

    Various aspects impact how long jet lag lasts. These influences include the travel distance you covered, your body's cardiac rhythms, and your overall health. Jet lag is a common condition that causes people to feel more at home after they arrive at their destination. Some people may take up to a week before they feel complete back at home.

    If there are any others tips or suggestions that you think may be useful for others feel free to comment below

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