Treatments

Jet Lag

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Overview

Jet lag is the general feeling of tiredness, fatigue and disorientation after long aircraft journeys. Anyone can get jet lag, particularly older people.

Causes

Entering a new time zone means your usual day-night routine is out of sync. This confuses your ‘body clock’, causing jet lag. The direction of which you travel influences the severity of your symptoms. Travelling east means you lose hours so your day will be shorter and travelling west means you gain hours so your days will be longer. Travelling east is generally harder as it is harder to sleep at an earlier time than what you are used to.

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on how many time zones you have crossed but common symptoms include:

  • Light headed
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Feeling confused and having problems concentrating

Other body functions may also be affected such as, your sleep habits, appetite and digestion.

FAQ

  • How can I reduce the effects of jet lag?

    • Avoid napping on arrival
    • Avoid alcohol and caffeine on the flight
    • Alter the time you go to sleep to match that of your destination a few days before travelling
    • Drink water, briefly snooze and stretch your legs on the flight
    • Establish a new routine - immediately adopt the new time zones meal and sleep times
    • Stay outside in the natural light

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