Jet Lag Disorder
Jet Lag Disorder
Jet lag disorder refers to a condition in which there is temporary sleep problem affecting anyone who frequently travels across multiple time zones. Jet lag occurs because of the non changing circadian rhythms of our body and body’s clock is still synced to your original time zone, instead of to the time zone where you’ve traveled.
Symptoms of jet lag can vary significantly and may include:
- Disturbed sleeping (insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness)
- Fatigue during daytime
- Difficulty in focusing or functioning at your routine level
- Digestion problems, constipation or diarrhea
- A general feeling of ill being
- Mood changes
- Symptoms worse as much as you travel and usually occur within a day or two of travel across atleast one time zone.
The main cause of jet lag syndrome is the disruption of circadian rhythms or body’s internal clock. This can occur anytime a person cross two or more time zones. The reason is that the clock which controls body sleep-wake cycle is out of sync in new location. Some major key influencers on circadian rhythms are sunlight, airline cabin pressure and atmosphere and dehydration.
Major complication is the risk of road traffic accidents because of drowsiness associated with jet lag.
- Use sunlight to reset internal clock as it is most powerful influencer affecting circadian rhythms. Morning light exposure can help person usually to adjust an earlier time zone (traveling eastward), while evening light helps person to adapt a later time zone (traveling westward).
- Along with this staying active, do some exercise like walking or jogging can help with jet lag.
- Avoid taking caffeine beverages after midday as it makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Melatonin is now used widely as alternative medicine for the treatment of jet lag syndrome.