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:
- Sleeping disturbances
- Cognitive effects and inadequate concentration
- Increased fatigue, headache and irritability
To reduce the above possible manifestations, there are key pre-travelling, on transit and post travelling tips to adhere to.
- 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
- Eat smaller, healthier meals
- Avoid excess alcohol
- 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
- 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
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