Minimising The Effects Of Jet Lag

 

Circadian rhythm is your body’s natural 24-hour routine, which is controlled by ‘biological clocks’ in your body. Jet lag occurs when your body’s circadian rhythm is disrupted. It is caused by the direction of the flight, not its length. Although it is not possible to prevent jet lag there are some things you can do to reduce its effects.

Before You Go

Going West? Start going to bed later a few days before travel. Going East? Start going to bed earlier. Also, plan a stopover if you can to allow your body to adjust to the new time zone.

During Your Flight

Make sure you are well hydrated before flying and drink plenty of fluid (not alcohol) during the fight. Try to rest and take frequent naps. Eat and sleep according to the local time of your destination and use ear-plugs and an eye mask to help create the right conditions for sleep.

When You Arrive

If you’ve travelled west, get more morning light and avoid the afternoon sun. If you’ve gone east, then seek out the afternoon light instead to move your body clock forward towards the sleep phase. Try to get a minimum of 4 hours ‘local’ time sleep as this is vital when adjusting to a new time zone.

Jet lag can be a problem if you frequently fly long distances. However, it doesn’t usually cause any serious or long-term health problems.

 

Chris Hodges

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