Jetlag disorder is a sleep problem that an individual may face who travels across various time zones quickly.
A human body has its own clock system, commonly known as circadian rhythms, that send signals to the body, informing when to sleep and when not to. Jet lag happens because of the clock in the body is still synced with the original time zone. It takes time to adjust with the different time zones you travel through. The greater number of time zones you cross, the possibilities of getting a jetlag increase.
Jetlag also causes daytime fatigue, which means you will feel tired most of the times while you are working or when you are just sitting at your home. You might also face complications such as staying awake for a long time or gastrointestinal issues. Though it happens temporarily, the significance that you might face is quite more.
As per various surveys, it has been observed that the circadian rhythms usually remain in your body up to 24hours or even more. The reports also state that about 77.4 million passengers traveled by air this year, out of which 9.7 million passengers were international passengers. Most of the people have complained of facing jet lag issues as they reached their destination.
Symptoms and precautions
Although these jet lags are quite normal to happen if you are traveling abroad or anywhere across the globe, crossing through time zones, many precautionary measures can be taken to prevent jetlag complications.
We have come up with the list of measures that you can consider and prevent jetlag complications. Before learning about the measures, let’s get to know about the symptoms that you might feel during jetlag:
1. Disturbed sleep – you will face problems while you are sleeping, such as insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or waking up early in the morning.
2. Daytime fatigue
3. Difficulty in focusing or working at your usual level
4. Stomach issues, constipation, diarrhoea, gastric issues, etc.
5. Mood swings
6. An unusual feeling of not staying well
These are the common symptoms that you might face when you are going through jetlag.
Here are some of the best way to prevent jetlag complications:
1. Arrive early
If you are traveling alone or attending a meeting for which you have to travel to different places, then try to fly early to the destination so that you can overcome the jetlag issues before your trip in the destination begins.
There’s no proper treatment of jetlag as it comes and goes over a period of time. Arriving early at the destination gives you enough time to deal with the jetlag complications and on the day of the event or meeting.
As your body takes time to adjust to the surroundings and climate, the time that you save by arriving early than the scheduled time will help your body to get acclimated with the place easily.
2. Try to sleep as much as you can
The only way to treat jetlag disorders to sleep as much as possible from your end.
Sleeping helps the body to take enough amount of rest, and it’s easy for your body to get adjusted with the climate and environment. Getting plenty of sleep helps you in dealing with jetlag disorders with ease. If you don’t sleep properly, then you might feel these jetlag issues aggravating day by day. You will not be able to focus on your work or travel.
3. Adjust schedule and timings before you leave anywhere
You need to be careful while crossing the eastern zone; the time zones vary a lot in the east of the world. Try to go to bed as early as you can during your travel journey. Having a proper sleep will help the body to adjust with the time zone, and a jetlag disorder can be avoided easily.
Similarly, if you are traveling in the western part of the world, sleep as late as you can. This is the pattern that you must follow to avoid the complications of jetlag.
If you are sleeping late and have an early morning flight to catch, then it’s better to plan appropriately and pack all your things as you might not get up early to arrange your suitcase. You can also check-in early by using the official website of the airline service provider so that you get a buffer time to reach the airport.
For example, if you are traveling by United Airlines flight, then you can use the official website for the UA online check-in services and check-in much before time.
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4. Regulate light exposure
As the bright light exposure is the prime influences on the circadian rhythm of the body, regulating it becomes the most important task for you. Regulating light exposure will help your body to adjust traveling new location as soon as possible.
In general, if you are traveling in the evening hours, the light during the evening hours helps your body to adjust to the surrounding climate.
Similarly, early morning light is also helpful to prevent the jetlag to a significant extent. You will have to regulate the exposure of light based on the location that you are traveling to. If you are traveling towards the eastern side, then you can roam around the city during the evening hours, while for the western side, you can choose the morning hours to plan your travel.
The only exception that affects your body to adjust the most is when you are traveling across eight or more time zones from the original ones. This is when your body takes a good amount of time to adjust with the surroundings and often experience jetlag issues that might stay up to a week or even more.
How you can avoid this type of jetlag is the main question unanswered? You can prevent it by wearing sunglasses, avoiding the bright light during the daytime, and traveling during the late afternoon hours, etc. These are some common remedies that help you to prevent jetlag in such circumstances.
5. Stay hydrated
One of the best ways to avoid jetlag is to keep yourself well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water in a day will help you to counteract all the diseases or disorders that might occur because of jetlag.
As dehydration also is a primary cause of worsening jetlag, it’s advised to stay hydrated and drink about 3 to 5 liters of water every day as soon as you arrive at the destination.
Avoiding caffeine, tea, etc. will dehydrate you to some extent and will also affect the sleep; hence, it is advised to avoid all these drinkable items initially.
These are some of the best methods that you can follow to avoid jetlag disorders.
As there’s no cure to jetlag, it is advised to take precautionary measures in the initial days of your travel so that you don’t end up degrading the experience of your trip or cancelling your business meetings.
Following these hacks will help you in staying safe and healthy during your trip, and make it a memorable one.