Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that affects people who travel across time zones on a plane. It occurs when the body’s internal clock, which is set to a particular sleep and wake timing (determined by night and day) does not match the night time and day time of the new time zone. Jet lag is experienced the most when you travel towards the east as you lose time. Jet lag is characterized by disturbed sleep, feeling sleepy, unwell and sluggish, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, and difficulty concentrating and staying alert.
The treatment options for jet lag are:
- Health and physical fitness: Staying physically fit, eating a well-balanced diet and resting properly may alleviate the symptoms.
- Control underlying conditions: Strictly following the treatment for your underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease, will minimize the impact of jet lag.
- Dehydration: Make sure to drink plenty of water during travel. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as it will worsen the symptoms.
- Adaptation: Changing your routine to local timings and the environment as soon as you land in a new place will speed up your body clock.
- Medication: Your doctor may prescribe medication to readjust the body’s clock and help you cope with the new schedule.