What is Jet Lag?
Jet lag disorder or Time Zone Change Syndrome refers to a temporary sleep disorder that usually affects those who rapidly travel across different time zones. The world has twenty-four time zones, one for each hour in the day. When someone travels from one part of the world to another part that’s rather far away, there is often a significant difference between the time at the place of origin and destination. A person’s inability to immediately adjust to that difference, upon reaching the destination is what we call a jetlag.
Some people also experience jetlag due to the sleep disruptions experienced owing to a sudden change of shift, for example: During jet lag, your body’s internal clock goes out of sync upon entering a different time zone. Perhaps, that is why they also call it ‘desynchronises’, and since the only way for you to quickly move across multiple times zones is by air, it is also known as flight fatigue.
The Science Behind
The human body has this internal biological clock that follows a circadian rhythm- a 24-hour cycle. The hypothalamus, a tiny part of their brain, acts as an alarm clock which activates various everyday processes. When the traveller experiences a delayed or advanced exposure to light, air cabin pressure and atmosphere, or simply any changes in the meal time at the destination, the hypothalamus tends to trigger activities which the rest of the body is not quite ready for. That, perhaps, is what leads to the problem of jetlag.
Who’s more likely to Experience Jetlag?
Those flying from one place to another place that follows the same or a slightly different time zone, tend to experience much less problems compared to those who are travelling to a completely different time zone. They either end up losing or gaining time, which their body may not quite be ready to accept.
Symptoms of Jet Lag
Some of the common problems arising out of jetlag include fatigue, sleeplessness, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, anxiety, mood swings, diarrhoea or constipation, an upset stomach, dehydration, nausea, trouble concentrating, irregular heartbeat, etc. A general feeling of not being too well is also common among the jet-lagers. The severities of these symptoms, of course, tend to worsen the farther you travel. However, the good news is, these symptoms are only temporary and last only for a while.
Some Common Complications Arising out of Jetlag
Jet lag is a very common problem which is experienced by a lot of people; only the severity of the symptoms may vary. However, it rarely leads to any major complications, unless you happen to be suffering from an existing health condition, such as heart trouble. In that case, along with jet lag, a number of factors might come into play together and even lead to a heart attack. On the other hand, some people have also reported experiencing a heart stroke, following chronic sleep deprivation due to jet lag.
Jet lag symptoms usually subside with time and these would hardly be leading to the need of seeking medical help. However, if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms and they do not seem to go away, you should probably visit a doctor. In that case, the doctor might recommend a couple of light medications.
Some Tips for Jet Lag – Free Journey
Change your schedule a little in advance, so as to introduce your biological clock to the destination’s time zone, a little beforehand.
Stay in shape – This would allow you to better deal with the complications arising out of jet lag.
Seek Medical Help Beforehand –
This is recommended especially if you happen to be a patient of a chronic health condition. A consultation allows you to plan a coping strategy, including medicines to carry and doctors’ appointments, if the need be.
Drink Plenty of Water –
It keeps you active and hydrated, and does not make you feel nauseated during along flight.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol –
Their consumption not only leads to dehydration, discomfort and nausea but also cause anxiety and disrupts your sleep schedule.
SleepRite Shotz® –
In case you often or sometimes experience jet lag, and are suffering from a sleep disorder, then you may go in for SleepRite Shotz. This particular sleep inducing natural remedy from the house of Nutrite, needs to be consumed as one bottle every night for a week. This would be good support for re-establishing your sleep cycle.
Author: Dr Sonica Krishan
Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through
Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda
Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and
Holistic Healing Coach.