What is jet lag?

This is a physiological condition which results from altered circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of our brain; cycling between sleepiness and alertness.

Jet lag typically occurs when there is a time difference, for example, when an individual travels from US to Nigeria. The time difference between Nigeria and the US is typically 6 hours or above.


Possible manifestations of jet lag

This varies with individuals and also depends on the difference in the time zones. But symptoms can include:

  1. Sleeping disturbances
  2. Cognitive effects and inadequate concentration
  3. Increased fatigue, headache and irritability
  4. Indigestion

To reduce the above possible manifestations, there are key pre-travelling, on transit and post travelling tips to adhere to.

Pre-travelling tips

  • Note the difference between your present time zone and your destination time zone early
  • Travel a day earlier, so you can rest before commencing your activities
  • Exercise
  • Eat smaller, healthier meals
  • Avoid excess alcohol

On transit

  • Take intermittent naps, rather than staying awake for the entire flight duration
  • Drink plenty of fluid and eat lightly
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, where possible
  • Try some gentle stretching exercises

Post travelling

  • Avoid taking self-prescribed sedatives; where possible
  • Eat regularly , at the normal mealtimes in your destination country
  • Try to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks for at least 24 hours

About Us

The Flying Doctors Nigeria is a member of the British Safety Council that specializes in providing medical solutions such as air ambulance and medical evacuation, ground ambulance procurement and leasing, remote medical services such a medical staffing, online company clinic set-up, site clinic management, occupational health, medical evacuation insurance and other health consultancy services for the oil & gas industry as well as other corporate, military and non-governmental organizations.

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