Ways to Cope with Jetlag

May 3, 2023
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Ways to Cope with Jetlag

Jetlag is a condition that usually occurs in people who travel by plane. During long-haul flights, the body clock is disrupted due to time zone changes and the sleep-wake cycle and other biological rhythms are affected. 

Jetlag is more pronounced for those traveling on east-west routes, because there is more time zone variation on these routes. In order to reduce the effects of jetlag, it is recommended to pay attention to sleep patterns, consume adequate amounts of water and be exposed to sunlight during the pre- and post-flight periods. Also, certain medications can be used to relieve jetlag.

What Are the Symptoms of Jetlag?

Jetlag is also known as time zone change syndrome and can cause a variety of symptoms including sleep disturbance, fatigue, digestive problems, difficulty concentrating, headaches, weakness, appetite changes and irritability during the time zone when your body's biological clock needs to be adjusted to adapt to the time zone you are traveling in. 

Changes in the day-night cycle during the time you travel can affect the quality of your sleep and alter your natural sleep patterns. For example, you may not be sleepy when it is daytime in the place you are traveling to, or you may experience insomnia even though it is night. 

These symptoms can vary depending on the time difference between the time you travel and your normal life, and the direction you travel. Generally, fewer symptoms are experienced when traveling west, while symptoms may be more severe when traveling east. 

To reduce jetlag symptoms, you can pay attention to your pre-travel sleep patterns, drink plenty of water before and during travel, eat healthy food, and exercise before and during travel. On an airplane, it can be helpful to choose the right sleeping position and, if possible, to sleep during the flight.

How Can We Avoid Jetlag?

Jetlag is a sleep disorder caused by the time difference in travel. This condition can affect your sleep, alertness, and metabolism as it changes your body's biological clock. But you can help get rid of jetlag by taking some simple precautions. 

Before your trip:

• Try to adapt to the time difference your travel may cause. Change your sleep times a few days in advance to adapt to the new time zone.

• Get good sleep and rest before travelling.

• Take the necessary items (earphones, pillows, eye mask, etc.) with you for sleeping during the flight. 

During your trip:

• Increase fluid consumption and avoid alcohol during flight.

• Move during flight. Walk on the plane periodically to boost your blood circulation.

• Try to eat and sleep according to the new time zone. 

After your trip:

• If you have a busy schedule in the first days after your trip, lighten your schedule a few days in advance.

• Get more sleep for a few days to relieve your post-travel fatigue.

• Exercise immediately after travel. Physical activity speeds up your metabolism and regulates your sleep. 

You can help get rid of jetlag by taking these precautions. However, because jetlag differs from person to person, it may not have the same effect for everyone.

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