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Jet lag can ruin even the strictest sleep schedules. If you like to travel, you’ve likely dealt with jet lag at some point in your life. Fortunately, its effects are usually temporary. Still, it’s a good idea to get back to your regular sleep schedule after suffering from jet lag, so you don’t develop any long-term sleep problems.
If you have jet lag, there are solutions for dealing with the symptoms and getting back on track. In this article, we’ll talk about jet lag causes and symptoms, how you can treat it, and what you can do to minimize its effects. Read on to learn more.
Jet lag is a temporary sleep problem that occurs when you travel across multiple time zones in a short period. Jet lag will throw off your internal clock, causing your sleep schedule to be disrupted. Your body will still be in step with the time zone you left, so the new time zone may cause your internal clock to be lagged. The more time zones you cross, the greater the likelihood you’ll experience jet lag.
Though jet lag is temporary, its symptoms can bother you for weeks if you don’t make the attempt to readjust your internal clock. It’s relatively unlikely that you’ll experience jet lag unless you travel across at least two time zones (usually more), though your experience may vary.
Jet lag can cause several unpleasant or irritating symptoms, including:
Typically, your jet lag symptoms will worsen the further you travel. The general rule of thumb says that each time zone crossed requires one to two days to recover from, although some people may have symptoms for much longer than this.
Jet lag may not present itself immediately, and you may find yourself experiencing symptoms a few days after arrival.
There are a variety of factors that can lead someone to feel jet lagged. Some people may not get jet lagged or their symptoms may be milder than others.
These are some of the common causes of jet lag:
Even with all of these considerations, some people simply won’t experience jet lag as badly as others. The severity of symptoms can vary based on the individual, so these factors may or may not apply to you.
Jet lag can be directly linked to your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm acts as your internal clock, regulating your sleep and wake cycles, letting your body and mind know when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to be alert.
Circadian rhythms are largely determined by sunlight. That’s why it’s normal for humans to feel tired at night and feel awake during the day. When you’re crossing multiple time zones, your body and circadian rhythm will be under the impression that you’re still in your regular time zone.
Essentially, crossing multiple time zones will disrupt your normal rhythms, which will mean you’ll be ready for bed when it’s morning or the middle of the day, or you’ll be alert during the evening and night hours.
When you travel for a long time, you’re bound to feel at least a little tired, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have jet lag. Jet lag is sometimes mistaken for travel fatigue. Travel fatigue causes you to feel tired and possibly experience headaches from a long day of travel.
It’s very hard to get quality sleep and feel rested on an airplane. There are a number of factors that contribute to travel fatigue, but unlike with jet lag, your circadian rhythm isn’t getting disrupted.
The easiest way to tell the difference between travel fatigue and jet lag is to see how long your symptoms persist. If you get a good night of sleep, your travel fatigue will usually dissipate within a day. Jet lag can last for several days and sometimes weeks. It is possible to have jet lag and travel fatigue at the same time, but they’re definitely not the same thing.
Knowing what jet lag is and the causes are helpful, but no one wants to deal with jet lag symptoms. If you want to make sure your jet lag symptoms are as mild as possible and easier to handle, there are various preventative measures you can take. Let’s look at those.
Though there’s no surefire way to stop jet lag altogether, taking the right measures can make it easier to deal with and adjust to your new time zone.
If you’re recovering from jet lag or if you have an upcoming trip that crosses multiple time zones, let Sleep Reset help. Sleep Reset creates customized sleep solutions with a dedicated sleep coach. Your plan is personalized for your lifestyle and sleep concerns. If you have an upcoming trip, your coach can adjust your plan to make sure you’re getting quality sleep beforehand and taking the right preventive measures to reduce jet lag effects. When you’re dealing with the symptoms, your program can help you get back on track.
But Sleep Reset isn’t just for jet lag! Sleep Reset is a solution for anyone who wants to get deeper sleep, wake up feeling well rested, and form healthy, long-lasting sleep habits. Sleep Reset is an all-natural, no-pills solution, so there are no side effects to worry about.
Take our sleep assessment today to find out how Sleep Reset can help you get better sleep.