East Africa News Post

Complete News World

Jet lag affects you differently depending on the direction of travel. Here are 6 tips to overcome it

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this comment are solely those of the author. CNN features The Conversation, a collaboration of journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. Content produced solely by The Conversation.

(CNN) – After a difficult few years of lockdowns and travel restrictions, people are finally back to traveling the world again; Families gather and sightsee.

However, the joys of international travel are often accompanied by jet lag, also known as jet lag, which can make it difficult to enjoy a vacation at first and adjust once you get home.

Why do people suffer from jet lag? Is there anything you can do to reduce its effects? Here are some tips to overcome it.

What causes “jet lag”?

The term “jet lag” describes the physical and cognitive symptoms that people experience when traveling quickly across different time zones.

Before leaving on a trip, your body syncs with its own local time. Once you enter a new time zone, your body’s rhythms will no longer align with the clock on the wall.

That’s when the symptoms of jet lag appear. You are sleepy when you want to be awake and awake when you want to be asleep. You feel hungry in the middle of the night and may feel bloated or nauseous if you eat during the day.

Until your circadian clock and all the rhythms you control align with the new local time, you will feel physiologically and mentally overwhelmed. Not a happy holiday environment!

Jet lag isn’t the same for everyone

Interestingly, the experience of jet lag differs between people. This is because we all move at our own inner rhythm.

See also  The El Salvador Congress sacks the constitutional judges of the Supreme Court | International | News

Most of us have a normal circadian cycle of approximately 24.2 hours. So if we lived in a cave and saw no light, our sleep/wake cycle and other circadian rhythms would last about 24.2 hours. Researchers believe this is an evolutionary adaptation that allows us to adapt to different day lengths throughout the year.

But some people have slightly longer cycles than others, and that can affect how a person experiences jet lag.

Research suggests that if you have a longer cycle, you may adapt more quickly to westward travel, such as traveling from Australia to South Africa, but we don’t know if a shorter cycle helps travel the other way.

We also become a little less flexible as we age, so those of us who are older may experience symptoms of jet lag.

Is the direction of travel important?

In general, many people find it a little easier to travel to the West, where they “buy” time.

Suppose Jasmine and Sarah leave Adelaide at the same time. Jasmine lands in Perth in the afternoon, as it was about 2.5 hours early in the day. He sees some places and falls asleep easily around 8:30pm local time. Then he gets up very early and starts his day.

Because Jasmine’s body clock is naturally delayed, slightly behind the local time every day, after a few days, it is completely synchronized.

Meanwhile, Sarah landed in Auckland, about 2.5 hours into the day. You take advantage of the nice afternoon and part of the night, stay up until 2am, then get out of bed when your alarm goes off at 7am, because it’s still 4:30am. on your biological clock.

See also  North Korea food shortage about to get worse[ANALYSIS]

Sarah is likely to feel the effects of jet lag more acutely than Jasmine and for longer.

The process of aligning your body clock to your new time zone can begin while you’re on the plane. (Credit: Daniel Avram/Adobe Stock)

Is jet lag just ‘psychological’?

Some people may wonder if jet lag is in your head. Well, in a way, because it’s a mismatch between your body’s internal time (which is set in your mind) and your local time.

But that doesn’t mean you can talk to yourself to avoid jet lag. It is better to think of it as a physiological rather than a psychological condition.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to ease the symptoms of jet lag and help your body clock adjust. This is especially important for elite athletes who travel to compete.

1 first, decide whether or not it is worth trying to adapt to the new schedule. If it’s just a short trip, it might make sense to stick to the local time. If it takes longer than three days, start consciously moving your own rhythms, such as when you sleep, eat, exercise, and receive sunlight, toward the new time zone.

2. If you are trying to change your biological clockIt’s a good idea to start on the plane. Set your watch to the time zone of your destination and organize your activities accordingly.

3. Keep your caffeine and alcohol consumption low during the trip. This will be better for sleeping and hydrating and will help adjust your body clock to the new time zone.

See also  The people of Guantánamo are in danger of being cut off

4. When adjusting to a new time zoneAt other times, try to sleep during the local night and rest only when you need to. Short naps can give you a boost to get you through the day and night. Try to get about 30 minutes of sleep and avoid napping later in the day closer to your actual bedtime.

5. Gastrointestinal upset is a symptom of jet lag. If you are prone to or have stomach problems while traveling, stick to smaller meals and eat when you are hungry. Your body will tell you when it is ready to eat. Tip 3 about caffeine and alcohol also applies here.

6. Go outside. Sunlight is key to adjusting to a new time zone. Depending on the time zone change, appropriately scheduled outdoor activities will help.

If that wasn’t enough, the Sleep Health Foundation has more advice here.

– Sally Ferguson is Director of the Appleton Institute and Dean G. Miller is a postdoctoral fellow at CQUniversity Australia.

This article is republished under a Creative Commons license from The Conversation.