Occurring when people travel across multiple time zones within a short space of time, jet lag is the body’s reaction to suddenly being in a place that does not fit with its usual pattern of night and day. People suffering from the effects of jet lag upon arrival in a new destination or upon returning home can thankfully use a range of medicines to help restore their sleep pattern and minimise jet lag.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is the result of travel across multiple time zones, causing your internal body clock to be out of sync with your current location. The symptoms of the condition include an inability to sleep at night-time, in turn causing confusion, tiredness and irritability. Ultimately, people who travel overseas on holiday or for business find themselves unable to return immediately to the normal pattern of their lives.
Jet Lag Treatment Options
There are many ways to reduce the likelihood and severity of jet lag, both before and during your travels. First, begin by having a good night’s sleep before you travel, and attempt to minimise the level of stress that you feel leading up to your trip. Then, during the flight, don’t drink any alcohol and be sure to move around the aircraft regularly to keep your body active.
Unfortunately, whilst these tips are thought to have an effect on jet lag, they do not always prevent the onset of symptoms. Fortunately, there are melatonin-related medical treatments available that can help you to restore your body clock faster. These medicines like vardenafil, are taken after travelling across time zones and are clinically proven to help raise melatonin levels and aid sleep at the correct time of day.
How Common Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a very common condition, which occurs in the vast majority of people who are travelling across five or more time zones. There is also some suggestion that people travelling east have a greater chance of suffering from jet lag upon arrival, although the statistics on this are unclear. Finally, since older people are more likely to be experiencing sleep concerns as a result of age, they are also more likely to suffer the symptoms of jet lag.
Jet Lag Symptoms
The most obvious symptom of jet lag is an inability to sleep during the night and a feeling of tiredness during the day, although this is not the only inherent symptom of the condition. Since a discrepancy is identified between what the eyes and other senses report and what the brain expects to see, many sufferers also feel some mild confusion.
Individually, these symptoms seem relatively mild and pass naturally after the body has time to adapt. However, when these symptoms are added together, the resulting effect on health and happiness can be very distressing and make life difficult until the symptoms subside.
Jet Lag Causes
The human body repeats a pattern, known as the circadian rhythm, every 24 hours. It is this pattern that makes us feel tired, sleep, wake up and so on. As with many functions of the body, this pattern is regulated by a hormone – the hormone that controls the circadian rhythm is called melatonin. Usually, the amount of melatonin in the body increases gradually from when darkness falls until around four in the morning.
In the case of jet lag, the body’s release of melatonin and its circadian rhythm acts in accordance with the time zone you have left, not the time zone you are currently in. As a result, you may find yourself unable to sleep at night, and extremely tired during the daytime.