What is jet lag and what are its symptoms? Shyamala Narayanaswamy, Pharmacy Practice Manager at Singapore General Hospital explains.
How to Deal with Jet Lag
If you love to travel, then you are more than likely to have experienced the annoyance of jet lag.
It can be a nuisance not only when arriving at your new destination, but it also affects you when returning to your home country. Crossing different time zones means that your natural body clock needs time to catch up. However there are ways to reduce the time it takes to adjust to the new time zone.
What is jet lag?
Our bodies have a natural body clock which works in a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. It controls the timing of our sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. When we travel across time zones, our body’s circadian rhythm can be slow to adjust to the new time zone and can remain in its original rhythm for several days after arriving in the new time zone. This can be troublesome as our body may then tell us it is time to sleep (even though it is noon-time) or keep us wide awake at night. This is known as jet lag.
Jet lag: Symptoms to note
Typical signs and symptoms of jet lag include:
- disturbed sleep
- fatigue during the day
- difficulty in concentrating in general
The more time zones you cross in a short space of time, the worse these symptoms are likely to be. Jet lag is also generally worse when you “lose time” during the journey, that is, when you travel from west to east. This is why you feel worse when coming back to Singapore after a holiday in Europe, than when returning from New Zealand!
Read on to find out 6 ways to reduce the effects of jet lag.