Jet Lag Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention Tips

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that occurs as a result of long distance flights across different time zones. It causes when your body finds it difficult to adjust to new time zones. If you are affected with jetlag, your sleep patterns get disturbed and you feel drowsy and exhausted. You suffer from severe jet lag, if you cross more time zones.

jetlag symptoms, causes and prevention

Symptoms of jet lag

The jet lag symptoms can vary from individual to individual. Severity depends on how far the person traveled and how many time zones he has crossed. Most of them discover the symptoms when they cross at least 3 time zones, but some of them may get even for short routes.

One of the most common symptoms of jet lag includes disrupted sleep patterns.

The other symptoms of jet lag include lack of energy, memory problems, anxiety, confusion, irritability, headaches, indigestion, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, lightheadedness, muscle soreness, sweating, and difficulty concentrating.

Symptoms last for few days normally without treatment based on how fast the body can be adjusted to new time zone.

Causes of jet lag

The main cause of jet lag is the body’s inability to instantly change to the new time in a different zone. When a person’s circadian rhythm is disturbed, jet lag occurs.

When you travel to different places with different time zones within few hours, your body has to understand and restore its circadian rhythm. But, your body takes time to adjust to new times of darkness and light.

Other causes of jet lag are drinking alcohol, not drinking enough fluids, stress, and lack of sleep.

Tips to prevent jet lag

Here are few tips to reduce the effects of jet lag:

  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after travel, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • If you are traveling to east, go to bed early for few nights before leaving and if you are traveling to west, go to bed later for few nights.
  • If are traveling for short distances, maintain your usual timings of sleeping and eating.
  • For long journeys, try to follow the time schedules of the place you are traveling before you leave.
  • Do not sleep in the flight at times that would not match the destination timings.
  • If you are traveling long distances, walk around the cabin and also do some stretching workouts in the chair to avoid a serious condition called deep vein thrombosis.
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