I have been hearing about jet lag for a long time but never felt it until last year. I personally belong to India. In India all states have similar time zone, so if you are going from one state to another you can get tired for couple of hours but doesn’t feel like jet lag. I experienced jet lag when I travelled from India to US. First time I came by 14hrs continental flight to New Jersey. Secondtime, I went back and forth to India via Northwest flight (now Delta). It took me one week to get back on my routine, everytime I travelled between India and US.. During that period, I searched a lot how can I overcome jet lag? Here is the extraction of my search that I believe will help you to overcome your jet lag and to enjoy your time during official or personal visits.
What is jet lag?
Jet lag is a common sleep disorder and, most importantly, it is a set of symptoms associated with sleep disorder resulting in loss of working efficiency and holiday enjoyment, often for days after moving different time zones.
Why does jet lag occur?
Your body runs on a 24 hour sleep/wake cycle called circadian rhythms or biological clock. Your circadian rhythms, which are affected by exposure to sun light, help your body know, when to sleep and when to wake up. Whenever you travel to new time zone, your circadian rhythms get disturbed. You feel various symptoms because your biological clock has not adjusted to the new time zone. Your body thinks that you’re still in your old time zone. As a result your body may want to sleep in the middle of the afternoon, or you may be wide awake at 2 a.m.
For example, if you fly from Chicago to Rome, you cross seven time zones. This means that Rome is 7 hours ahead of Chicago. When you land in Rome at 6:00 AM in the morning, your body thinks it’s still in Chicago at 11:00 PM the previous night. Your body wants to sleep, but in Rome the day is just starting.
What are the symptoms of jet lag?
The most common jet lag symptoms are
- Difficulty in falling sleep at night or insomnia,
- Drowsiness or tiredness during the day
- Lack of concentration
- Stomach upset
How can I prevent jet lag?
You don’t have to let jet lag interfere with your fun. Take these steps to help prevent it.
Adjust your schedule: A few days before leaving...
on your trip, begin to adjust your sleep schedule gradually. The goal is to go to bed an hour earlier or later for each time zone crossed, depending on the direction you are going.
Pick the right arrival time: Choose a flight that arrives in early evening and stay up until 10 p.m. local time.
Stay awake in the daytime: Try to stay awake all day, but if you have to nap, make sure it is no more than two hours.
Eat when the natives do: Getting your body on the local time schedule is the key. Eating at about the same time everyone else does will help.
Don’t eat too much: When your body is trying to adjust to a new schedule, don’t make it work harder by digesting a lot of food. Try to eat light at first by choosing a snack instead of a heavy meal.
Skip the caffeine and alcohol: Avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bedtime. They both can interfere with your sleep.
Exercise: Getting some light exercise during the day should help you sleep at night, but avoid strenuous exercise right before bedtime.
Soak up some sun: Sunlight helps readjust your biological clock, so get outside and soak up some rays.
Drink plenty of fluids: Don’t take a chance on becoming dehydrated, especially if you have traveled to a higher elevation. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids.
Try some melatonin: Melatonin supplements may help fight the effects of jet lag. In one study; people who traveled across eight times zones had less jet lag if they took 5 milligrams of melatonin daily, starting three days before they left home.
There is no homeopathic or allopathic solution for jet lag. The solution is just to adjust your body with different time zones as quickly as possible. These tips will help you to get acquainted with some of the factors, which need to be avoided or to be applied in order to keep the jet lag away.