Jet Lag- Meaning, Symptoms, Prevention & More

What Is Jet Lag

Posted on Jan 6th, 2023 by Arjun Sharma, Last updated on Jan 10th, 2023

Are you going to travel on a flight in the coming days and thinking about how to deal with Jet Lag? It is completely understandable that long-duration flights put a huge toll on the human body. If you are a frequent traveller and worried about your jet lag problem, then this blog is for you. Here we will tell you about the symptoms, causes, consequences, prevention as well as treatment. First, let’s know about the meaning of jet lag so you can get a basic understanding of the whole problem.     

What Is The Meaning Of Jet Lag?

Found yourself questing, “What is jet lag?” Well, it is a condition that affects the body cycle of an individual who travels from one-time zone to another. A person who is a victim of jet lag has to face its consequences. It can last up to 1-2 days and in severe cases, it can go up to 6-7 days as well. Our body’s internal clock, known as the Circadian rhythm, gets disrupted when we travel on a long-haul flight. This leads to a feeling of exhaustion and confusion. 

For instance, if you take flights from Dubai to Chennai, you might experience a little of this feeling as India is 1 hour and 30 mins ahead of Dubai. This jet lag, among other symptoms, can make you stay up later than you usually would or make you feel more tired than usual.

Causes of Jet Lag

  • Sunlight:- Sunlight has a significant impact on circadian rhythms. Melatonin, a hormone that helps cells in the body work together, is regulated by light. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that receives light signals from cells in the tissue at the back of the eye. The hypothalamus sends melatonin to the pineal gland, a small brain organ when nighttime light is low. The reverse is true during daylight hours. Melatonin is released very little by the pineal gland. The lack of sunlight makes it very difficult for the body to cope, adding to the jet lag.
  • Type of Atmosphere and airline cabin pressure:- When a plane is travelling at high altitudes, the pressure on the airline cabin gets changed and it can lead to jet lag, irrespective of the time zones. You must drink plenty of water to stay throughout the journey to stay hydrated because the humidity level generally remains low in planes.

Symptoms Of Jet Lag

There are various symptoms of jet lag, and it depends upon your physical condition and the type of symptoms that you are experiencing. Some of the symptoms are:-

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Extreme Tiredness
  • Mood changes
  • Lack of concentration
  • Nausea, and vomiting
  • Stomach Upset
  • Dehydration 

How To Prevent Jet Lag 

  • Arrive early:- You should prefer to arrive a few days early to adjust yourselves according to the time zone of the place so you can enjoy the event/conference/meeting in the best of your health. 
  • Adequate rest:- There are higher chances of experiencing jet lag if you have not slept properly. So it’s a must to sleep timely and adequately.
  • Adjust your body cycle according to the place:- If you are travelling towards the eastern side, you should prefer to go to sleep one hour before your preferred time, and if you are travelling towards the western side, you should prefer to go to sleep one hour later than your preferred time.
  • Get white light exposure:- Your body’s circadian rhythms are primarily influenced by light exposure. To help you adjust to a time zone where the sun sets later than usual after travelling west, expose yourself to light in the evening. To adjust to a later time zone, spend some time in the morning light after travelling east. 
  • Set your time according to the destination:-  Before you leave, set the new time on your phone or watch. No matter how tired you are when you get to your destination, try not to sleep until the local nighttime. Attempt to time your meals to coincide with local mealtimes.
  • Keep yourself hydrated:- To counteract the effects of the dry cabin air, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight. Parchedness can aggravate fly slack. Caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration and disrupt sleep, so stay away from them.

If you want to beat the jet lag, try out these necessary precautions. It will help you a lot in controlling your jet lag.

How To Avoid/ Reduce Jet Lag 

There is no best remedy for jet lag. However, if the symptoms are worrying then it can prevent you from performing your daily activities. Here are a few ways how you can overcome jet lag.

Get sunshine:- The light of the sun signals to your body that it is time to get up. In the event that you would be able, to get outside in the daylight during prime sunlight hours once you get to your area. This can assist in resetting your body clock and alleviate jet lag symptoms.

Light therapy can help you rebalance your circadian rhythms by using lights like visors, boxes, and lamps. The artificial light helps your body wake up because it looks like the sun. You can use this treatment once you arrive at your new destination to help you stay awake during drowsy periods so that your body can better adjust.

Take melatonin supplements:- Your body makes melatonin by itself just before you go to bed. When your body is fighting to get you to sleep, you can take melatonin supplements that are available over the counter (OTC). Because melatonin has a rapid effect, you shouldn’t take it more than 30 minutes before going to sleep. Ensure you can likewise rest an entire 8 hours when you take it. If you wake up before the effects of melatonin wear off, it may make you sleepy.

Take sleeping pills:- Talk to your doctor about taking sleeping pills if you have trouble sleeping in new places or if travelling causes you to experience insomnia. Although over-the-counter versions of some of these medications are available, your doctor may prescribe stronger versions if necessary. Rest prescription makes a few side impacts, so make certain to chat with your PCP and comprehend what they are before you take anything.

Eat at standard eating times:-  To assist your body in interpreting the new signals, eat at the appropriate time for your new time zone. When you finally do fall asleep, the foods you eat can also affect how well you sleep.

Scrub down:- Scrub down or shower before you hit the hay. This may assist your body in winding down and expedite your sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to recover from jet lag?

Jet lags don’t usually last long and can be recovered within a day or two, depending on the number of time zones you have crossed. Some tips which can help you to recover from jet lag after returning home are:- you should take melatonin, drink a caffeinated beverage, drink water, and keep your sleeping space comfortable.

Can jet lag cause migraines?

If you sleep too much or if you sleep too less then you can get migraine headaches. So it is highly advisable to take an adequate amount of sleep before you board your flight.

 Do babies get jet lag?

Yes, babies can get jet lag just like adults. Make every effort to keep your child on your home schedule if you are only staying for one to three days. You might need to make some changes if you are absent for a longer period of time.

Well, that’s all! 

Cheap Flights to India from Dubai

After knowing about all the causes, symptoms, and prevention strategies, we think that you are now ready to undertake your journey. At MyTicketsToIndia, we can help you book flights from UAE to India at the cheapest fares. So along with jet lag issues, your flight booking problem gets resolved right here. Get in touch with us and initiate bigger savings on flights.

Arjun Sharma

About Arjun Sharma View All Posts

Arjun Sharma is a writer with a deep passion for helping people. He loves to read and learn. Staying positive, optimistic, and enthusiastic helps him a lot in generating creative ideas. His love for traveling is also immense and so is his knowledge of travel destinations. In a nutshell, writing, traveling, and reading are his strengths. And, oh, he is an avid bhangra lover too. When he’s not into words, he is into expressing emotions through his dance moves.

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