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Alert! Here’s how you can beat Jet Lag.

If you are used to travelling past multiple time zones, guess you must be used to Jet Lag as well? To explain in simple words, Jet Lag happens when a person’s biological system finds it difficult to adjust to the time zone present in. That is, difficulty in sleeping, staying awake or staying alert in the new location.

To define Jet Lag, it’s a physiological condition that disrupts a person’s sleeping pattern due to long-distance travel across time zones, which triggers an imbalance in the Circadian Rhythm. The Circadian Rhythm is an ingrained biological clock that controls duration of sleep and wakefulness. It has a bearing on several biological factors like body temperature, eating time, and even regulates certain hormones. To beat Jet Lag, a person’s Circadian Rhythm (internal body clock) needs to match with the environment (external clock), the person is in.

SYMPTOMS OF JET LAG

Symptoms of Jet Lag can vary and are influenced by the number of time zones one has crossed. Some of the common symptoms include:-

  1. Disturbed sleep / insomnia / daytime fatigue
  2. Difficulty concentrating / trouble functioning
  3. Stress / confusion
  4. Headaches / irritability
  5. Indigestion or irregular bowel movements

Also, traveling eastwards can cause poor sleep upon arrival and traveling westward can lead to early awakenings, interrupted sleep and frequent waking up during sleep

COUNTERING AND PREPARING FOR JET LAG
Here’s how you can deal with Jet Lag:

Realign your schedule: Before you travel, try adapting to the sleep patterns of your new destination. If traveling east, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, or if traveling west, stay up late.

Arrive early: Be at your destination early to have more time to adjust to the new schedule.

Soak in natural light: Our Circadian Rhythm is influenced by exposure to sunlight. Getting out into the daylight at important hours can help adjust the body clock faster.

Skip alcohol and caffeine: The effects of caffeine can last much longer than wished and make a new sleep routine hard. While alcohol makes you drowsy and reduces the quality of sleep.

Sip lots of water: Keeping yourself well hydrated by drinking lots water can help avoid dehydration and headaches on long flights.

Try sleeping aids: To help you fall asleep, try using an eye mask to keep light out, earplugs to block out noise, and a neck pillow for comfort.

Consider medications: Consult your doctor about medications that can help you stay awake to adapt to your destination’s timezone.

So you see, while you cannot completely avoid Jet Lag, you can at least deal with it to reduce the discomforts it can cause.