Jet lag or desynchronosis is a disturbance caused in the body clock. This is a temporary condition that some people experience while travelling across several time zones by air. Due to this the internal clock of the body is not in sync with the external clock. People who cross several time zones within a short span, such as pilots and frequent travelers need to know how to prevent jet lag. Once occurred the symptoms last for at least 2 to 3 days.
Brain cells control the biological functions with the brain that get adjusted according to the time zone in which we are living. The brain cell controls all the functions including when we eat and when we sleep. If you are in a different time zone, then the regular rhythm of dawn and dusk to which your body got acclimated, experiences improper timings in this new time zones.
The symptoms of jet lag are persistent until your body gets adjusted to the new time zones. This process is very slow. Following are the symptoms that are shown in jet lag.
Symptoms of jet lag:
The symptoms vary largely from person to person, depending upon how a person responds to the changes that occur in the surroundings. Disturbance in the sleep-wake patters shows the following symptoms.
- Sleeping disorders such as Insomnia and bipolar disorder
- Decreased awareness
- Disturbance in circadian rhythm
The environment within the air planes also causes a great impact on the body of the person. Low humidity within the planes, continuous vibrations, noise, pressurization and cramped environment contribute to the symptoms of jet lag. These include sinus, muscle cramps, dizziness, inflammation in the feet and legs, dry eyes and noise causes earaches and sinus.
Tips to prevent jet lag:
- Try getting adjusted to times zones you are about to travel following the sleep-wake patters of the place you are about to travel. Do not make drastic changes at once; slow changes in your lifestyle will help you get acquainted in a better way.
- You should know when the day begins and when the sunsets in the time zone you are about to travel. Sleep when it is night over there and wake up when it is day. If this is not possible for you regularly, then you can try this at least when you are in the plane.
- While you are about to board in the flight, adjust your watch according to the timings of your destination.
A healthy lifestyle is also very important. Especially, before you travel, make sure that you have a better and adaptable health that will get adjusted to the changing external conditions in a positive manner. Below are some tips that will help you acclimatize to the changing atmosphere.
- Drink plenty of water: Water helps you in staying hydrated. When you are in the plane, drink at least two glasses of water every hour as the air in there is very dry that will aggravate the symptoms of jet lag when you are out of the plane.
- Get plenty of rest: Rest well before you start your journey. This will help you get better acquainted with the external changes that occur when you shift yourself from one time zone to another.
- Healthy diet: A healthy diet and good choice of food is also advised. Get plenty of necessary nutrients to meet the body requirements so that the symptoms shown in jet lag are not so severe.
- Avoid drugs: Drinking alcohol and cigarette smoking should be strictly avoided as this causes imbalances in the body. Excessive consumption of caffeine should also be avoided. Especially, such drinks should be avoided in planes. Alcohol has greater impacts on the body when you are in the plane as it has on the ground. The effect is about 3 times more.
- Use ear plugs: When in the plane use ear phones to reduce the impact of the noise that is caused on your ears. If you do not use ear plugs to block the noise, this affects the biological conditions of your body.
- Listen to music: Listening to music while sleeping in the plane is also a good option to stay away from the noise.
- Look for comfort: Look for comfort inside the plane. This will help you in preventing jet lag. Try doing things that will make you feel comfortable; turn on the AC, push your seats back and get plenty of rest, remove your shoes and relax as you do in your bedroom.
- Get warm water on your body: Having shower will help relaxing your body, so get a shower with warm water before you start your journey and in between if you have a halt of some time. This will increase the blood circulation and relax your body.
Tips and suggestions given above are very effective in preventing jet lag for travelers on long flights.