Why Jet Lag happens and how to get over it?

Summers are fast approaching and so is the vacation season. Many foreign tourists will be visiting the USA, going to California and experiencing one of the best weathers available. If not that, many Americans would possibly want to travel to the South-East Asian region to perhaps relax at the white sandy beaches of Thailand, Malaysia. But one problem is likely to be faced by all: jet lag.

It doesn’t matter if you are travelling long distances in summers or winters, jet lag is inevitable. It can surely be a nuisance when it cuts off the days you can enjoy your vacation. Although with time it settles down, you would want to get over the issue as timely as possible.

In this article, we will first find out why jet lag happens and then accordingly few tips to overcome it.

What is jet lag?

Jet lag, in medical terms, is often referred to as time zone change syndrome. As the medical name would suggest, the condition occurs when you shift time zones as a result of travelling a long distance.

Say you live in New York where the time is GMT -4. You start your journey at 3 am in the morning on May 6 and travel to Bangkok (GMT +7). Assuming the duration of the flight is 12 hours, you will reach Bangkok at 2 am on May 7. While in New York, the time would be 3 pm afternoon and the date would still be May 6.

The point really is that naturally when you land in Bangkok, you are supposed to sleep because its 2 am at night. However, your body has been tuned according to the time zone in New York and since its afternoon there, you will probably end up being staunch awake. That is when you are under the jet lag condition.

While the obvious symptom of jet lag is sleep pattern disturbance, the person will also exhibit other signs. It is common to feel drowsy, fatigue with various body aches. More importantly, people often complain that the problem causes severe mood disruption.

Tips to keep in mind

We now know for a fact that jet lag can possibly create problems for you affecting your stay at your desired destination. That being said, by keeping a few tips in mind, you can overcome the situation considerably if not entirely. Here are some essential guidelines medical experts want you to follow before boarding long haul flights.

  1. Start preparing your routine before departure: Your body works like an internal clock moulding itself accordingly with where you live. The best way to get over jet lag is to start following the routine you would be following during your stay.
  2. Change the time of your clock: Perhaps another way to deal with jet lag is to change the time of your clock bringing it in line with the time at your desired destination. This way, it makes it much easier for you to follow the travel routine.
  3. Hydrate yourself and say no to alcohol: One of the biggest mistake travellers make onboard is: gulp in glasses of liquor. While, for example, wine might seem to make you fall asleep, it dehydrates your body. As a consequence, you feel lethargic, fatigued which really worsen the symptoms of jet lag.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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