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Put Jet Lag To Rest: Tips on Combating the Jet Lag Funk

Put Jet Lag To Rest: Tips on Combating the Jet Lag Funk

Anyone who has traveled across several time zones or worked in shifts is probably well familiar with the phenomenon of jet lag. It is a physical condition caused by a disruption in our natural circadian rhythms. For many people, jet lag can make them feel tired and ill enough to ruin the first several days of a vacation. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help prevent and also treat the symptoms caused by jet lag. Read on to find out all about it!

Why Jet Lag Occurs

A simple explanation of why jet lag occurs is that our bodies become out of sync with the natural light and time cycles that we are used to. In other words, the new external environment does not match up with our bodies’ pre-set cycles. A hormone called melatonin is triggered by our exposure to light, and it is key in controlling our circadian rhythms. By traveling across time zones, the production of this hormone is upset. It can take several days to get used to the new environment and gradually become adjusted.

  • Jet Lag and Time Shifts – This article introduces how jet lag occurs for travelers or shift workers.

  • Melatonin – Melatonin is responsible for managing our biological clocks and is a factor in jet lag.

  • An Introduction to Jet Lag – This overview covers all the main points about jet lag, including how and why it occurs.

Jet Lag Symptoms

All of the body’s systems are linked to each other. Often, when one is affected, all the others feel some effects as well. With jet lag, the most pronounced symptom is the complete disturbance of the sleep cycle. For example, sufferers may feel an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day and then stay up at night. In turn this causes fatigue, grogginess, and even confusion or depression. This can affect the digestive system as well, resulting in acidity or stomach cramps, constipation, or diarrhea. As with most people who have not been able to sleep well, jet lag sufferers may also have impaired motor ability and memory. People suffering from jet lag should be careful not to drive or handle any other large vehicles or machinery for safety reasons.

  • Effects on Memory – Jet lag can have significant effects on brain functions including memory.

  • Jet Lag Symptoms – Fatigue and disrupted sleep cycles are among the most common effects of jet lag.

  • Effects of Jet Lag – Jet lag symptoms can last several days after traveling.

  • Jet Lag Health Effects – Jet lag can also cause upset digestion and reduced motor ability.

Jet Lag Remedies

Even with various remedies, it can take at least a couple of days to fully treat jet lag. One of the best natural treatments is to follow the time cycle at the new destination. Go to bed at the same time that the locals do instead of much earlier or later. Another method is to start preparing yourself a few days before the trip. For example, people traveling east should start going to bed a little later each night. By the time they travel and arrive at their destination, their late bedtime will be normal according to the local time. Hydration is also a strong factor in helping to limit jet lag. Drink plenty of water or fresh juices and stay clear of caffeine and alcohol. Another tip is to expose oneself to bright light. For people traveling from east to west, they should head out in the afternoon light, while those going from west to east should soak up some morning rays. For those who still find it difficult to cope with jet lag, there are several medical treatments. Melatonin supplements can help to trick the body into changing its natural cycle more quickly. Alternatively, using a sedative or sleeping pills can help to bring on sleep at the correct times. Always discuss these options with a doctor before consuming them, for the best and safest results.

  • Preventing Jet Lag – Try this list of jet lag prevention tips the next time you travel!

  • Dealing with Jet Lag – Medication and alternative remedies can help to reduce the effects of jet lag.

  • Light and Hydration – Strategically exposing oneself to light and keeping well hydrated are key in coping with jet lag.

  • Jet Lag Treatments – Read about a variety of ways in which jet lag can be treated.

Author: Angus L. McGuire


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