Whether on business or holiday, jet lag can seriously affect your time abroad. Sleepless nights and exhausted days can prevent you from making the most of your trip and disrupt your homecoming. Jet lag tablets are a safe and effective way of combating jet lag. Understanding the causes of jet lag, and following our tips, should also hold you in good stead. Happy travels!
What is jet lag?
Jet lag is caused by your body struggling to adjust to a new time zone. It occurs after a long-distance aeroplane flight. The more time zones you cross over the flight, the more severely the jet lag can affect you. You feel drowsy, confused and your sleep patterns are disturbed. You might feel wide-awake at midnight, and sleepy at midday. Fortunately jet lag should pass after a few days’ acclimatization to the new time zone.
What causes jet lag?
Your body clock regulates your sleeping patterns. Naturally your body clock is acclimatized to your time zone. You go to sleep at night, wake up in the morning and start feeling drowsy at the end of the day.
The world is divided into 24 standard time zones; with different zones for Britain, Europe, America, etc. The further distance apart the time zone, the bigger the disparity between them. (So London is only 1 hour behind Paris but 11 hours behind Auckland.)
While flying from London to Paris should only cause very minor jet lag, if at all, a long-distance flight like London to Auckland is another matter. The time zones are almost diametrically opposite: mid-afternoon in one will be the dead of night in the other. So if you arrive in Auckland at midnight, your body clock – still on London time – thinks it’s around 1pm: lunchtime. Thus getting to sleep might be a little difficult!
Treating jet lag
Check out these five tips for treating jet lag. Some are easier to follow than others, but all should help you adjust to your time zone as quickly as possible.
- Adapt early: In the days before you depart, try and coordinate your sleep patterns closer to your new time zone. If you’re travelling east go to bed a little earlier, if you’re travelling west go to bed a little later.
- Use the flight: Apply your destination’s time zone on the aeroplane. Sleep if it’s night, try and stay awake if it’s day. This isn’t easy but will help. Eyeshades and earplugs come in handy.
- Stay hydrated. Regularly drink water to counteract dehydration, which can intensify the effects of jet lag. Avoid alcohol on flights as this can worsen dehydration.
- Get outside: Natural light helps regulate the body clock. On arrival, go for a walk. It could help adjust to your new time zone.
- Force a routine: Try and follow your new time zone, even if you haven’t yet adjusted to it. Eat at mealtimes, sleep at bedtime. Not easy but will help you adjust much quicker than if you followed the old, ‘natural’ time zone.
Jet lag tablets
Although your body will naturally adjust to a new time zone, jet lag tablets can accelerate the process. Jet lag tablets can help you to sleep at night and quickly resume normal sleep patterns. The tablets contain a hormone, naturally produced in the body, that helps to regulate sleep. On arrival at your destination, take 1 tablet before bed for 2 – 4 nights. The tablets are safe to use on a short-term basis, and can be very effective at overcoming jet lag. However you shouldn’t use jet lag tablets as a long-term treatment for insomnia. Take your online consultation for jet lag tablets here and order them online.