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Whether you’re on a plane for a wonderful vacation or you have to make a long flight for work, those who travel to a different time zone can experience jet lag. Whether you fly to the other side of the world or spend only a few hours on the plane, it can disrupt your rhythm. Not the nicest start of your holiday, for example, and once home, jet lag can also be annoying. Fortunately, you can easily recognize jet lag and we give you tips to deal with it better.
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Jet lag is a contraction of jet and lag, or jet plane and running behind. Jet lag is therefore nothing more and nothing less than lagging behind the speed of the flight through different time zones. Your body naturally knows when it is day and night, and despite the many artificial lights, it does get tired after a few hours of waking up. This rhythm is disrupted by a flight to another time zone. The consequences of jet lag are noticeable in your appetite and concentration. But how long can jet lag last? That depends on the one hand on the time difference and on the other hand on your rhythm. The greater the time difference, the longer you can suffer from jet lag. The more often you sleep irregularly, for example because of night shifts, the less intense a jet lag can be.
Jet lag is most commonly characterized by fatigue, which can last up to several days. In addition, you can be hungry at the craziest times, and don’t want to eat around dinner time. You can also suffer from dehydration, diarrhea and headaches. Difficulty concentrating and feeling disoriented are also associated with jet lag.
The greater the time difference, the more difficult it is to prevent jet lag. However, you can always do a number of things to make jet lag last as short as possible. Biting through the sour apple in one go is ultimately less torment than a bite every time. So no matter how unpleasant it may seem, after your flight you immediately adjust to that time zone. That means no nap, sleeping when it’s night there and eating when it’s customary there. The chance of jet lag also decreases if you eat light on the day of departure and avoid caffeine and alcohol. An extra stopover and a flight that arrives at your final destination during the day can also help.
Once at your destination, you still abstain from caffeine and drink plenty of water. Get plenty of exercise, preferably in the fresh air, but keep calm the first day to allow optimal acclimatization.
A few days before departure you can fool your biological clock a bit by going to bed a little earlier. If possible, also adjust the times of your breakfast, lunch and dinner, so that the transition to the new time zone is easier. When the time difference is significant and you want to sleep hours earlier than usual, you can also use some help with that. Think of a nice soft mattress from Morningstar, a sleeping mask and earplugs against light and sound, or taking melatonin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jet lag is a disturbance in the sleep and wake rhythm as a result of rapid travel to another time zone. Long flights from west to east in particular, but also the other way around, can cause symptoms for several days.
Jet lag includes feeling generally tired and wanting to eat at the oddest times, but having less appetite around the actual mealtime. Your body may also respond with diarrhea, headache, dehydration, disorientation, and/or difficulty concentrating.
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