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Showing posts with label Jet Lag Disorder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jet Lag Disorder. Show all posts

Dec 7, 2010

Jet Lag Disorder

Let not the jet lag give you a lag!

Jet lag disorder, also called as desynchronosis, is a temporary sleep disorder that can affect anyone who quickly travels across multiple time zones.

What could cause this?
Jet lag can be caused anytime one travels across two or more time zones. Jet lag occurs because crossing multiple time zones puts the body clock out of synchronization, as it experiences daylight and darkness contrary to the rhythms to which it has grown accustomed - the body's natural pattern is upset, as the rhythms that dictate times for eating, sleeping, hormone regulation and body temperature variations, no longer correspond to the environment nor to each other. The condition is not linked to the length of flight, but to the trans-meridian (west-east) distance travelled.

What are the symptoms of Jet lag?
The symptoms of jet lag can vary, depending on the amount of time zone alteration. People may experience only one symptom or multiple symptoms.
The symptoms include:

• Headaches
• Disturbed sleep - such as insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness
• Fatigue
• Muscle soreness
• Disorientation
• Irritability
• Mild depression
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Dehydration

The condition of jet lag may last many days, and recovery depends on the time zones crossed and usually would take a day to overcome the symptoms.

What are the remedies?
Since the experience of jet lag varies among individuals, it is difficult to assess the efficacy of any single remedy. Some of them are:
• Gradual adjustments in the sleep schedule over the course of several days, while maintaining its regular length of 7-8 hours can reduce fatigue and prevent depression.
• Use sunlight to reset your internal clock. It's the most powerful natural tool for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. The results are even better if light exposure is combined with exercise such as walking or jogging.
• Using caffeine, such as in beverages like coffee, espresso and soft drinks may help offset daytime sleepiness. However, it's best to time caffeine use, as it may make it even more difficult to fall asleep or sleep well at night.

Is there a treatment?

Jet lag usually requires no treatment. However, if you're a frequent traveller bothered by jet lag, consult your doctor.

Can I prevent Jet lag?
A few basic steps may help prevent jet lag or reduce its effects:
• Try to arrive a few days early to give your body a chance to adjust.
• Get plenty of rest before your trip.
• Gradually adjust your sleep and eating schedules to the time of your destination, for a few days before your departure.
• Wear sunglasses and avoid bright light, allow as much sunlight as possible in the mornings or late afternoon for the first few days.
• Set your watch to the new time before you leave. Once you reach your destination, try not to sleep until the local night time, no matter how tired you are.
• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight to counteract the dehydrating effects of dry cabin air. Dehydration can make jet lag symptoms worse. For the same reason, avoid alcohol and caffeine, both of which dehydrate you further.
• Try to sleep on the plane if it's night time at your destination. Earplugs, headphones and eye masks can help block out noise and light. If it's daytime where you're going, resist the urge to sleep.

Get set for a healthy travel and enjoy it by keeping these in mind!