Health and MedicineHealthy tipsHow to reduce the effects of jet lag

How to reduce the effects of jet lag

Jet lag is a very common effect when we travel for many hours by plane, but how to reduce its symptoms? Here are some tips that will help you a lot.

Have you ever traveled thousands of kilometers away in just a few hours? If so, it is quite likely that you have already suffered the consequences of what is known as jet lag (also known by the names of circadian dysrhythmia or time zone syndrome), which arises habitually and especially when we move from one continent to another in a few hours, and our body tends to suffer. In fact, it is common for many specialists to consider it a sleep disorder.

Its symptoms are quite clear: we feel tired, very sleepy and it is also common for an annoying and uncomfortable headache to arise. We can even mention other related discomforts: irritability, depression, anger, apathy, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and leg pain. Its causes must be found in the jet lag, since our biological clock does not agree with the local time, especially when we travel through different zones or time zones.

Did you know that women tend to be more likely than men to suffer from jet lag symptoms? This also occurs with people over 50 years of age, since they may suffer from jet lag symptoms in greater proportion than younger travelers.

Useful tips to reduce the effects of jet lag after a trip

Although it is possible to prevent jet lag by following a series of basic guidelines and tips, it is true that it is not always possible to do so or even that we arrive late and do not know that it is actually a disorder that can be easily prevented. For example, before taking the flight, a good idea is to try to start adapting to the new schedule a week before traveling (if you have to move the time forward at your destination, it is useful to go to bed and wake up earlier), as well as sleeping more than 7 hours during the night before.

While we travel, and we are in the middle of the flight, it is also possible to follow some guidelines to reduce the appearance of jet lag: adjust your sleep hours to the time of destination, it is a very good idea to sleep and rest during the trip, walk on the plane whenever you can to maintain adequate blood circulation, and avoid certain beverages (such as alcohol or caffeine), in addition to drinking plenty of water.

But when jet lag strikes, and its symptoms begin to surface, there’s no question that it’s best to try to reduce its effects. Here are some tips that will help you a lot:

  • Adjust the clock and your schedules: It is essential to adapt your schedules to the local times of the place where you have traveled (either going or returning home), especially the times of meals and sleep.
  • Vitamin D: try to expose yourself to the sun’s rays whenever you can. It will provide you with the vitamin D that your body needs and will also help you feel much better.
  • Rest: the first day after a long flight it is best to try to rest, relax and take it easy. If you have arrived home, it will probably not be a problem, but if, for example, you have arrived at your vacation spot, the desire to take tours and activities could be negative.  Therefore, try to leave the most demanding activities for a few days later.
  • Practice physical exercise: it will help you increase the production of endorphins, which will help you feel much better. In addition, it will be useful to stretch the muscles, especially if the flight has been long.

It is also very useful to avoid certain drinks, such as alcoholic beverages (even if they are low-grade), or caffeinated beverages. Also do not forget to drink plenty of water, which will help rehydrate your body.

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