How to Survive a Jet Lag?

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What is a Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a biological condition resulting from travelling across multiple time zones. It can disrupt the body’s internal “biological clock. Jet Lag is a circadian sleep disorder mostly experienced by travellers after long trips by air or other forms of transportation crossing time zones or having a vastly different day/night cycle. It is a temporary disorder which occurs due to a disruption of the body’s internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. A mismatch between the local time and the internal clock can cause the body to become confused and hence the symptoms of jet lag.

Jet Lag Symptoms:

The most common symptoms of jet lag are fatigue, disrupted sleep patterns and difficulty focusing or concentrating. Other symptoms can include dehydration, headache, dizziness, muscle and joint pain, irritability and digestive issues such as nausea and constipation. The severity of these symptoms varies, as some individuals may experience only mild effects while others will suffer more severely.

Cause of Jet Lag

The exact cause of jet lag is unknown, though it is closely related to rapid changes in time zones or periods of daylight or darkness. When our bodies are exposed to different times of light and darkness or have been travelling long distances and crossing time zones, there is a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm which is responsible for regulating our sleeping, waking and eating patterns. When travelling, our circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle, does not always match up with local times, resulting in jet lag. The body’s internal clock takes time to adjust to the new schedule, and until it does, you may feel the symptoms of jet lag. This disruption can cause extreme fatigue or “jet lag” due to the desynchronization between the body’s internal clock and the external environment.

Does Jet Lag Affect Air Travellers Only?

The answer is no. However, Jet lag is most commonly experienced by air travellers, but it can also affect people travelling by train, car, or boat across multiple time zones. The severity and duration of jet lag can vary depending on the number of time zones crossed, the direction of travel, and individual factors such as age, sleep patterns, and general health.


Jet lag can be difficult to deal with, but there are several strategies you can try to help your body adjust to the new time zone:

Gradually adjust your sleep schedule: A few days before your trip, start shifting your bedtime and wake-up time towards the schedule you will have at your destination.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration can worsen jet lag symptoms, so make sure to drink plenty of water both before and during your flight.

Get plenty of natural light: Exposure to natural light helps regulate your circadian rhythm, so try to spend time outside in the sunlight during the day and limit exposure to bright screens in the evenings.

Stay active: Physical activity can help reduce fatigue and improve your mood, so try to exercise during the day and avoid napping for longer than 30 minutes.

Eat healthy: Eating a healthy diet and avoiding heavy meals, alcohol, and caffeine can also help you cope with jet lag.

Consider using melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep, and taking a melatonin supplement before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed.


It is important to remember that jet lag is a temporary condition, and in most cases, symptoms will eventually dissipate. For travellers with frequent long-distance travel plans, it is important to strive for consistency and routine, when possible, as well as proper rest and nutrition prior to travel.

You may reduce the effects of jet lag by adjusting your bedtime and sleep routines before travel, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy and balancing light exposure before and during travel, as well as avoiding alcohol and caffeine.

Jet lag can also be reduced by resetting your internal clock by exposing yourself to light and darkness at times corresponding to the destination’s time zone. Following the above tips and advice can help to minimize the negative effects of jet lag, allowing individuals to arrive at their destination feeling rested and excited. Remember, it takes time for your body to adjust to a new time zone, so be patient and give yourself a few days to recover from jet lag.