What is Jet Lag?
Jet lag, also known as desynchronosis, is a condition which occurs commonly when people have traveled a vast distance while on an aircraft. It is common for those who have traveled from the east coast to the west coast, vice versa, or internationally. It is known to be a sleep disorder because it disrupts the normal sleeping pattern due to the changes in time zones and schedules. The condition is known to last for several days until the individual has begun to adjust to their new schedule. Upon returning to their original location or home, the individual may experience jet lag again while trying to get used to their old schedule.
The Symptoms of Jet Lag
The Symptoms that are associated with jet lag tend to various depending on the time spent within the time zone and also the overall difference in time during that period. Some of the common effects include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, headaches, irritability, digestion problems, changes in defection, lack of sleep, and a lack of interest in food. In most cases, these symptoms are easier to see when the individual has experienced a change of around three time zones, however, extremely sensitive individuals may also experience the same problem if they have experienced at least one change within their usual time zone.
Treatment for Jet Lag
In most cases, jet lag is not serious enough to merit actual treatment by a doctor. In some cases it may be uncomfortable enough or last for an extended period of time, causing individuals to need some format of dealing with the symptoms. This is more common in those who have to change their schedules permanently or travel on a frequent basis. Some have suggested the use of melatonin, though this is regarded to be a concern for those who have allergies, mental illness, autoimmune disease, cancers, or pregnancy. There are sleeping aids for those who are having a hard time sleeping during the new period of night time. Caffeine may also be suggested to those who are struggling to stay awake during hours when they would usually be sleeping.
Prevention of Jet Lag
Generally, there is not a specific way that individuals can prevent jet lag from occurring. Changes of less than three hours within the time zone usually does not promote jet lag and individuals are recommended to stay with their usual sleeping schedule during this time period. Those who are traveling to places with a completely different sleeping time should avoid falling asleep on the plane as this will only worsen the possibility of jet lag occurring.