Jet lag is known as the time change syndrome and occurs when travelling across different time zones. The body’s internal clock (the circadian rhythm) becomes out of sync with the new destination’s time and jet lag is the lag time between the two. It has an impact on physical wellbeing and symptoms include:
Extreme tiredness and exhaustion.
Poor sleep quality and insomnia.
Feeling unsettled and disorientated.
Causes difficulties in decision making and affects concentration.
Jet lag is temporary and most people will recover within a few days. Recovery time depends on the distance you have travelled. It can take up to one day for each time zone crossed for your body to adjust.
Before you travel
get plenty of rest before you travel so that you aren’t frazzled, ensuring that you enjoy trip from the moment you arrive
gradually change your sleep routine – start going to bed and getting up an hour or two earlier or later than usual (in-line with the time of your destination)
During the flight
change your watch to the destination time zone as soon as you board the plane
drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake
use an eye mask and earplugs to sleep during the flight and aim for strategic napping of 20 minutes at a time
keep active by stretching and regularly walking around the cabin
use the flight to reset, declutter the mind and watch an inflight movie/read to relax
change your sleep schedule to the new time zone as quickly as possible so that your body adapts to the new environment
set an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning
go outside during the day – natural light will help your body clock adjust. Your body needs a good amount of sleep and sunlight and at the right times to get your body back in sync