Language & Culture

Jet Lag

Anyone who has ever flown across more than 3 time zones is fully familiar with the travelers’ hangover: jet lag. Referred to medically as “desynchronosis,” jet lag is the disruption of our body’s natural clock or circadian rhythm. It can leave fliers fatigued, irritable, listless and can even result in headaches or – in the most extreme cases – cardiac complications. Thankfully, though – especially for your dear author who is recovering from a recent 12-hour time-jump – there are several things you can do during and after your flight to make the transition that bit smoother.

Jet Lag

  1. Bring a water bottle or buy one after you’ve gotten through airport security; I’m never 100% sure exactly what they allow through. Air travel, especially long flights, can dehydrate you and that exacerbates the effects of jet lag. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and directly after your trip.
  2. While you’re flying, make a point of regularly getting up and moving around the cabin. Do some stretching in the back or take a leisurely stroll up and down the aisle. Watch out for the drink cart, though or you’ll end up on the wrong side of your source of hydration.
  3. If arriving during the daytime, stay outside; natural light is the best regulator of our body’s sleep schedule. Go for a walk, see some sights, or if travelling back home, catch up with your loved ones to hold off the desire for sleep. If you stay in your hotel room with the shades drawn, the Sandman will catch you faster than you can say “Jet lag.”
  4. According to new research by Japan’s Dr. Makoto Akashi, published in the journal Cell Reports, you can avoid being jet lagged simply by eating. The report has found that you should have a meal “enriched with ingredients promoting insulin secretion, which might lead to a phase advance of the circadian clock.” In plain English, eat a big, carb-loaded meal to trick your body into thinking it’s closer to its natural bedtime.
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Every year the world gets smaller and as international travel becomes increasingly common, so too does jet lag. But it needn’t be a given. Follow the above tips and you’ll be able to jet set to your heart’s content and sleep soundly wherever you lay your head.


To read more about this topic, we recommend the following articles:

Jet lag, Seven Travel Secrets Revealed, Excessive Sleepiness, 7 Foods that Spike Blood Sugar

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