Jet lag can be among the worst, and certainly among the most frustrating, aspects of long distance travel. Also called desynchronosis (meaning “out of time”), jet lag occurs when travellers pass through multiple time zones, arriving several hours ahead or behind their “home” time.
Travelling across several time zones upsets the body’s internal clock, which relies on many different environmental cues like daylight and temperature. The level of jet lag endured can be quantified with respect to the time change you experience – the greater the gap in time between your house and your new place, the more twisted your system clock becomes and the jet lag you’re likely to experience.
One big characteristic of jet lag is observed on your body’s battle between psychological power and physical lethargy. While your mind can process the change in time and place relatively fast and may rationally appreciate environmental cues like daylight (or the lack of it) and time of day, your body will be much slower to react. Although the opportunity to recover will differ from person to person, most people today agree that beating jet lag, adjusting to a different time zone and restarting a normal sleep cycle can take a couple of times or, in severe cases, a complete a week.
Although not always serious, insomnia brought on by jet lag may interfere with mental clarity and efficiency and might have some bearing on your psychological state. Jet lag may also make it hard for business travellers and tourists alike to maximize the opportunities afforded by their stay. What’s more, if insomnia brought on by jet lag doesn’t pass, or recurs frequently for at least a few weeks, it might be indicative of a more persistent sleep issue.
Natural sleep remedies and approaches may be employed to effectively handle jet lag and, by taking a proactive approach, it is possible to significantly reduce or limit the severity and number of symptoms – not to mention shortening the length of your jet lag. Establishing a consistent and regular sleep schedule before you even begin to create travel plans is one important step towards limiting the effects of jet lag.
Simple dietary changes such as the reduction or elimination of alcohol and caffeine also have proven successful, and travellers that are accustomed to coping with jet lag often bring along natural sleep remedies such as herbal teas and infusions to help induce the body’s natural sleep cycles upon arrival at their destination.
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You might have discovered that sleeping pills and other sleep aids are also powerful tools for managing jet lag. Because sleeping pills suppress the body’s immune system so as to create artificial sleep, rather than naturally induced therapeutic sleep, sleeping pills aren’t always an effective cure for jet lag. In actuality, sleeping pills have the potential to exacerbate the symptoms by slowing the alteration of your internal body clock.