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Insurance Article

Use These Tips to Handle Jet Lag after International Flights

March 04 2019
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Following a few simple tips can reduce the discomforts induced by jet lag after long haul flights

People who travel frequently to foreign shores may experience the problems such as disturbed sleep, upset stomach, daytime fatigue, etc. that follow these long journeys through the time zones. These problems referred to as jet lag is, in fact, temporary sleep disorder or ‘secondary circadian dysrhythmia’ in scientific terms.

It is actually a chronobiological problem caused by the misalignment between circadian rhythm (commonly referred to as internal body clock) and the physical environment. This happens when dusk and dawn occur at different times than what is anticipated by the body. Such de-synchronisation causes irregularities in several body processes like body temperature, eating habits, hormonal functionalities etc.

While it may take some time to get rid of jet lags completely, these simple tips can help you to minimize its effects:

  1. Time your sleep during your flight


  2. As per studies, you start experiencing jet lags when you travel across at least two time zones. By timing your sleep during the flight in accordance with the direction and duration of your journey, you can reduce the effects of jet lag once you arrive at your destination. While flying east, it is recommended to take a nap during the flight so that you can match the time zone of your destination, whereas you should go the opposite way and try not to sleep in the plane while flying towards west.

  3. Avoid coffee


  4. It is advisable to avoid coffee on the day you would be boarding your flight. This is because caffeine, a key ingredient of coffee stays in your system long after it has been consumed, which can make it difficult for you to fall asleep during the journey. This will render you tired and exhausted when you reach your destination. Instead of caffeinated food and beverages, you should intake more water which is helpful in inducing sleep during the journey.

  5. Exposure to sunlight


  6. One method that helps you recover quickly from jet lags is the direct exposure of your body to sunlight as it helps in quickly adjusting your body clock. It is advisable to spend some time outside in the morning if you have travelled east or in the afternoon if you have travelled west. During layovers, try to deboard if permissible and stand under the clear skies for few minutes before boarding your flight again.

  7. Get a good sleep the night before


  8. We often have a tendency to either skip or sleep very little the night before the journey. Whether it is due to the pre-trip excitement or any other reason, it would be a big mistake on your part to do this. Sudden changes to your routine would make it harder for you to adjust to new time zones. Having a good sleep, on the contrary, would aid you in quick recovery from jet lags.

  9. Avoid the bar


  10. While on board, you might be tempted to try alcoholic drinks thinking that it would enable you to relax and have a sound sleep. However, this is far from truth. At high altitudes, consumption of alcohol increases the dehydration of your body. In turn, this may disrupt your sleep architecture and put you at a risk of sleep apnea.

  11. Avoid artificial light


  12. Light plays an important role in helping the body to get in tune with the circadian rhythm. It is therefore important to limit your exposure to artificial light at your new location after sunset. As a precautionary measure, you can wear an eye mask while sleeping and avoid using electronic gadgets like mobile phones or laptops at least an hour before your planned sleep time. This will help you to take a good sleep and adjust to the new time zone rather comfortably.

  13. Keep your sleep outfit handy


  14. Exogenous factors like turbulence, small seats, dehydration, a small amount of hypoxia, etc. can affect your sleep quality on board. Hence, it’s prudent to carry certain things like eye masks, neck-pillow, ear-plugs and a night suit which will make you comfortable and enjoy a sound sleep.

    Adhering to the simple tips listed above will enable you to recover from the effects of jet lags conveniently and quickly. However, before you begin your journey, make sure to purchase an International travel insurance plan to safeguard yourself and your finances in the event of any untowardly incident during the trip.

Related Article:

What To Do If Your Foreign Vacation Is Disrupted By A Natural Disaster
Top 7 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Travelling Abroad

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