Two-minute ex­pert

Un­der­stand­ing jet lag

Paradise - - Contents -

Some peo­ple don’t get it, but most do. Most trav­ellers of long-haul flights are prob­a­bly in­ti­mately ac­quainted with the un­com­fort­able and much-dreaded con­di­tion of jet lag.

WHAT IS JET LAG?

Jet lag is a phys­i­o­log­i­cal con­di­tion caused by the dis­rup­tion of the body’s nat­u­ral rhythm dur­ing travel by air through sev­eral time zones. The body clock op­er­ates on a 24-hour cy­cle, with stim­uli such as hunger, sun­light and sleep hor­mones to reg­u­late it.

The abrupt change in time zones dur­ing air travel causes the body’s nat­u­ral sched­ule to be dis­rupted., caus­ing phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­com­fort un­til the body can align it­self to the new time zone.

WHAT ARE THE SYMP­TOMS?

Symp­toms vary de­pend­ing on in­di­vid­u­als, but a jet-lagged per­son may ex­pe­ri­ence: Headache or nau­sea Indi­ges­tion

Day­time fa­tigue

Ir­ri­tabil­ity or anx­i­ety

Loss of ap­petite

Poor con­cen­tra­tion

Dis­rup­tion in sleep pat­terns (dif­fi­culty sleep­ing, early wak­ing, in­som­nia)

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

The du­ra­tion varies among peo­ple. The body needs at least a few days to reg­u­late it­self and ac­cli­ma­tise to a new time zone. A sug­gested guide­line ad­vises a re­cov­ery pe­riod of a day per time zone crossed.

HOW DO I PRE VENT/ RE COVER FROM IT?

Prior to flight:

Get enough rest be­fore the flight.

Plan the flight to ar­rive in the evening to help the body ad­just to the new time zone.

Dur­ing flight:

Drink plenty of wa­ter or fruit juice.

Avoid al­co­hol and caf­feinated drinks.

Eat smaller meals with plenty of fruit and veg­eta­bles.

Get plenty of rest.

Wear loose, com­fort­able cloth­ing.

After flight:

Max­imise ex­po­sure to day­light to ad­just body clock.

Limit in­take of al­co­hol and caf­feine dur­ing the day.

Avoid nap­ping dur­ing the day.

ANY ADDI TIONAL TIPS?

Most trav­ellers tend to suf­fer from jet lag when they travel through three time zones or more. It may be worth con­sid­er­ing a stopover dur­ing a long trip. While sup­ple­ments such as mela­tonin or phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals such as sleep­ing tablets might help with jet lag, it is best to con­sult with a doc­tor be­fore tak­ing them as they might in­ter­fere with other med­i­ca­tions.

If you have a topic you’d like in­ves­ti­gated, email your sug­ges­tion to par­adise @busi­ness ad­van­tagein­ter­na­tional.com.

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