When you travel across time zones it affects the body and your sleeping pattern, which can cause jet lag. What is jet lag? How long does jet lag last? How long does it take to recover from jet lag? Read on to find out more.
What is jet lag?
What is jet lag? Jet lag is a temporary sleep problem. It can affect anyone who has travelled through different time zones. Jet lag occurs because crossing multiple time zones puts your internal clock out of sync with the time in your new location. Your internal clock regulates your sleep-wake cycle, also known as circadian rhythms. Most people who suffer with jet lag will experience fatigue, headaches and sometimes stomach problems. How long does jet lag last? Symptoms of jet lag typically occur within one to two days of travelling. However, symptoms can last longer in some circumstances, and you can still have jet lag after a few days. If you have travelled across multiple time zones, it can be factors that make jet lag worse.
How to prevent jet lag on long flights
There is no one correct way of how to prevent jet lag on long flights. However, there are a few things you can try in order to avoid jet lag. Resting before you fly is a great way to help with time zone differences. It’s important that you get at least eight hours sleep a night – it’s no different before you fly.
Many flyers will be tempted to take advantage of free alcohol on international flights. Whilst alcohol can help you to fall asleep, it can also contribute to factors that make jet lag worse. If you do plan on consuming alcohol whilst flying, make sure you drink plenty of water to ensure you remain hydrated.
Whilst falling asleep on a plan can be difficult, it’s a great way to counteract jet lag, especially if you can fall asleep naturally (without alcohol or sleeping pills to aid you). Bring a travel pillow and eye mask to help offer some comfort in order to sleep during the flight.
When you arrive at your destination, it’s a good idea to switch your watch, phone and any other device times to the local time. This can help you to adjust to the new time zone you’re in and is another way of how to prevent jet lag on long flights. If you arrive at your destination at night or during the evening, take some time to familiarise yourself with your destination. Walk around your hotel or apartment, get some fresh air and check out the views. If you’re arriving in the daytime, explore the location and soak in the sun – vitamin D helps to regulate the body and can ensure that you manage to avoid jet lag.