What is jet lag?
Traveling by plane is more than practical. We get on board and after a few hours we arrived at our destination. However, especially after longer years, a jet lag is often visible at the place of arrival. The reason: on longer years we go through several time zones. Our biorhythm cannot adapt to the new time zone so quickly and is therefore temporarily out of balance. This is evident, for example, in our internal clocks: These determine our individual sleep and wake cycle and tell us whether we are tired or hungry. Our internal clocks are controlled by daylight.
It also affects our melatonin levels, which also affect jet lag. If the level is elevated, we are tired. On the other hand, when there is little, we are energetic. Like our internal clocks, our melatonin levels need some time to adapt to the new environment.
This is how jet lag manifests
Jet lag is a temporary disorder, not a disease. It lasts until our body clock calms down again – zonal disease usually lasts no more than a few days. According to the AOK, you need about a day of time to adjust to the two time zones going east, while the trip to the west takes half a day.
are symptoms of jet lag
- Sleep problems: Those who fly west lengthen their days. Thus, sleep is delayed, which in turn manifests itself in problems sleeping overnight. If you travel east, your day shortens and zonal disease manifests itself in sleep problems.
- lack of concentration
- circulatory problems such as dizziness
How to prevent jet lag
But what helps against jet lag? Before you travel, you can do a number of things to best adapt to the new time zone. You should gradually go to bed earlier before traveling east. If you are traveling west, it is best to go to bed later than usual.
During the flight you can get used to the new times on board. If he is there at night, you should also try to sleep. A sleeping mask or earplugs can improve sleep on a plane.
Tips against jet lag
But what to do if zonal disease occurs despite the preparation? Or have you done nothing before and now your body clock has collapsed? First and foremost, you should give your body enough time to get used to the new rhythm.
On the way west: Try not to go to bed too early. Even if you are tired, you should not lie down in the afternoon, but in the evening. If you are particularly tired, you can also take a short nap. Indulge in as much daylight as possible to stay awake. This has a positive effect on melatonin levels and keeps you awake. So take a walk in the fresh air. However, be careful not to sleep for more than 20 to 30 minutes. You should also drink enough water to relieve fatigue. Especially after a long flight, the body is dehydrated.
On the way east: Even if you are not tired in the evening, you should not go to bed too late. A little meditation or an audio book will help you calm down and fall asleep more easily. Also, make sure that you are quiet and dark enough. Earplugs or a sleeping mask can help.