Jet Lag is the disturbance of sleep cycle due to change in the biorhytm of the body. This happens due to change in the environmental factors-time temperature and light levels. Flying into different time zones either shortens or lengthens the day for the traveller. 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.
Biorhytm or circadian cycle is controlled by the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands of the brain. Pineal body produces hormone known as melatonin, during dark. Serotonin is also converted in melatonin Your bodies melatonin level initiate, whether or not you are ready to sleep. During long flights with multiple changing time zones, this normal biorhthm is disturbed, producing the symptoms of Jet-lag. Symptoms of Jet Lag-They are more or less similar to hangover. Fatigue, drowsiness or tendency to sleep during the day and difficulty to sleep during new night. Impairment of memory and conscious level. unable to concentrate. Long flight also entails other health problems.Breathing dry and recycled air can cause dehydration, dry skin or headache. Siting for long hours can cause swollen feet and ankles. Sometimes it may cause blood clot in the blood vessel known as thrombosis. PREVENTION. A-Before traveling-.Have good night sleeps so that you may start your journey with fresh mood and body. Know the time zone of your destination country and also ,whether you’re traveling east or westwards. When travelling eastward adapt yourselves to new sleep time and go to bed an hour or two earlier.When travelling westward begin to adjust according to new time and start going to bed an hour or two later. Keep doing this for several nights. During Flight -Set your clock according to destination’s time zone,as soon as you board the plane. Begin to adjust your sleep and wake cycle according to the new country’s time. In this way you’ve already minimized jet-lag effect. If possible try to walk 5-10Mnts after every two hours flight.This will prevent swelling of foot and ankle and clot formation in the vein. Massage your ankle and calf with upward stroke. Rotate ankle in circles, tightening and relaxing the leg and calf muscles is good for maintaining the blood circulation.Move your neck back and forth and slowly rotate for few minutes . Prevent dehydration by taking plenty of water or fruit juices. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeinated drink. Carbonated drink may cause bloating. When arriving during the day time-Go outdoors immediately and remain their at least one hour. Bright light helps the body clock to adjust quickly. Go to sleep at the time of the country’s local timings. If you arrive at night-Go to bed at the time of that country local time, even if you don’t feel sleepy. To help sleeping, you may take Melatonin tablet 1-5 gms. So if you take recommended precautions and change in your routine a little bit ,Jet-lag will effect you minimally ,which can be easily dealt with. My best wishes to you readers with Happy journey, free of Jet lag. Satish Tripathi scri48