Jetlag is the disturbance of the sleep cycle due to changes in the biorhythm of the body. This happens due to changes in environmental factors such as time, temperature, and light levels. Flying into different time zones either shortens or lengthens the day for the traveler. Traveling eastward shortens and westward lengthens the day. Jet lag does not occur on north-south flights since you don’t cross multiple time zones.
The biorhythm, or circadian cycle, is controlled by the hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands of the brain. The pineal body produces a hormone known as melatonin during the day. Serotonin is also converted into melatonin Your body’s melatonin level determines whether or not you are ready to sleep. During long flights with multiple changing time zones, this normal biorhythm is disturbed, producing the symptoms of jet lag. Symptoms of Jet Lag: They are more or less similar to hangovers. Fatigue, drowsiness, or tendency to sleep during the day, and difficulty sleeping during the night. Impairment of memory and conscious level. unable to concentrate. The long flight also entails other health problems. Breathing dry and recycled air can cause dehydration, dry skin, or headaches. Sitting for long hours can cause swollen feet and ankles. Sometimes it may cause blood clots in the blood vessel known as thrombosis. PREVENTION. Before traveling-.Have a good night’s sleep so that you may start your journey with a fresh mood and body. Know your destination country’s time zone and whether you are traveling east or west. When traveling eastward, adapt yourselves to new sleep times and go to bed an hour or two earlier. When traveling westward, begin to adjust according to a new time and start going to bed an hour or two later. Keep doing this for several nights. During the flight, Set your clock according to your destination’s time zone as soon as you board the plane. Begin to adjust your sleep and wake cycles according to the new country’s time. In this way, you’ve already minimized the jet lag effect. If possible, try to walk for 5–10 minutes after every two-hour flight. This will prevent swelling of the foot and ankle and clot formation in the vein. Who is prone to Jet lag? Jet lag is usually a short-term problem that goes away once the body’s circadian rhythm has adjusted to the local time. For people who frequently take long-distance flights, such as pilots, flight attendants, and business travelers, jet lag can become a chronic problem. What is the jet lag feeling? The main symptoms of jet lag are difficulty sleeping at bedtime and waking up in the morning. tiredness and exhaustion. difficulty staying awake during the day. Massage your ankle and calf with an upward stroke. Rotating the ankle in circles and tightening and relaxing the leg and calf muscles is good for maintaining blood circulation. Move your neck back and forth and slowly rotate for a few minutes. Prevent dehydration by taking plenty of water or fruit juices. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Carbonated drinks may cause bloating. When arriving during the day go outdoors immediately and remain there for at least one hour. Bright light helps the body clock adjust quickly. Sleep according to the local time in your country. If you arrive at night to go to bed at the time of that country’s local time, even if you don’t feel sleepy,. To help you sleep, you may take Melatonin tablets (1–5 g). So if you take recommended precautions and change your routine a little bit, jet lag will affect you minimally, which can be easily dealt with. My best wishes to you readers with a happy journey, free of jet lag. Satish Tripathi scri48