Jet lag is hard to avoid and can easily derail the start of your trip. Read on to learn more about jet lag medication, and other ways to adjust to a new time zone quickly.
How to get over jet lag quickly
Whether you find the time to take a mid-morning nap the day before your red-eye flight, or force yourself to stay awake throughout the night before you set off on holiday, even the most carefully calculated preparation can fail you after a long journey.
Jet lag is a combination of physical and mental reactions, brought on by an interruption to our circadian rhythm. It can bring on a number of symptoms, ranging from exhaustion to physical illness, which can take several days to pass.
Read more about the reasons we suffer from Jet Lag, the symptoms, and what you can do to mitigate the effects of a long, tiresome journey.
What Really Causes Jet Lag?
You have probably already heard of the term ‘circadian rhythm’. This refers to your internal clock, which follows a (roughly) 24 hour cycle, and helps humans, animals, plants — even some forms of bacteria — to regulate brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, hunger cues, as well as your need to sleep. It’s largely endogenous — which, simply put, means that it arises internally — but it is influenced by environmental factors, such as how dark or light it is.
The hormone called Melatonin is regulated by your circadian rhythm. When this is released, it creates a signal to your body that it is time to sleep. The trouble with long-distance travel is that you may end up crossing one or more time zones, which means that your circadian rhythm no longer matches the time of day (or night). This can be very frustrating and playing catch-up with your body can take a few days, causing a significant interruption to a holiday or business trip.
If you are able to align your circadian rhythm with the new time zone, the effects of jet lag typically subside within a couple of days, but poor sleep can have an effect on your entire body. It can have an effect on your appetite, your immune system, and your body temperature — which is why you may feel colder after missing a night’s sleep.
Jet Lag Symptoms
The ways in which jet lag presents itself vary depending on the amount of time your travels have caused you to jump forward or back, and how well your body copes with interruptions to sleep. Most commonly, someone experiencing jet lag will experience one or more of the following symptoms:
This can play havoc with your sense of wellbeing, which is the last thing you want when you arrive in an exotic new location.
How To Get Over Jet Lag
There is no instant ‘jet lag cure’, but there are ways of mitigating the effects of a new time zone.
Although there are many jet lag tips out there for taking tactical naps and rests, in reality it can be easier to treat your symptoms in other ways. Taking naps can actually keep your circadian rhythm from attuning to the new time zone. It’s much better to get used to it as quickly as possible, so that you can actually make the most of your time abroad.
Although it has not been officially licensed as a jet lag medication, there is strong clinical and anecdotal evidence demonstrating the value of using Circadin (melatonin) as a treatment for flight fatigue.
Our bodies rely on the production of melatonin to make us ready for sleep, but melatonin is regulated by your circadian rhythm. This is why many travellers find it difficult to sleep at the correct times in a new time zone without help of jet lag tablets.
Circadin should only be taken if you are travelling to a time zone with a three or more hour difference. Melatonin tablets will help your body to regulate its sleep cycles faster, allowing you to overcome the symptoms of jet lag as quickly as possible. This will provide your body with an extra line of support as you get used to a new routine.
Next time you’re planning a trip to a significantly different time zone, consider taking an active role in supporting your body’s natural rhythm with melatonin jet lag tablets.
Jet lag is not the only health concern you might face whilst abroad and so it’s important that you remain mindful and plan ahead. If you want to make sure you’re fully prepared for any eventuality, why not consider adding our complete travel pack to your suitcase before you set off on your travels.