Ask an expert
Dr Maria Comas Soberats, Research fellow, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney
QIs jet lag more pronounced when travelling during an equinox?
AThe most important factor that helps us synchronise our body clocks to a new time zone is daylight exposure. Generally, the higher the exposure the easier and faster it is to achieve synchronisation. This is why adjusting to a new time zone when travelling during summer is easier than in winter. Equinoxes are simply in between these two seasonal extremes. So, we could say that, in general, jet lag would be more pronounced in the equinox compared with summer but not compared with winter. There are other factors that affect synchronisation. Direction of travel, for example, is important. Jet lag is worse when flying east rather than west. Arriving in the evening is better than the morning. Our own ‘chronotype’ has an effect also. ‘Morning people’, for example, generally suffer less than evening types when travelling east.