Conquering Jet Lag

What is Jet lag?

Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on high-speed aircraft.

It is also extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across different time zones.

Are you one who suffers from Jet lag? Or do you suffer jet lag whenever you fly long distances?

Here is something to help you:

Some basic neurobiology can help you beat jet lag and ease yourself back into the land of the living.

The best way to re-jig your circadian clock is exposure to light. If humans are deprived of any natural or artificial light cycles – deep in a cave, or in a special lab – our natural sleep cycle is just over 24 hours. This extra half-hour or so means that our body clocks are all drifting westwards, so it’s more difficult to adapt from east to west than in the other direction.

A hormone called melatonin makes us feel sleepy, and like a vampire, it shrinks in the face of bright light. So after travelling west, take in sunlight and exercise as late in the day as possible. When you’re travelling east, the temptation to sleep late will be huge, but a brisk morning walk will help.

If you travel very long distances especially if you’re coming from the West, try and go 14 hours west by having one very long day, as bringing your clock 10 hours eastwards will be more painful than people’s jealous glares.