Jet lag - Health Center

Jet lag

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Jetlag - Overview

Jet Disorder which is commonly known as Jet Lag is a temporary sleep disorder which affects people who are prone to travelling frequently through different time zones. The reason for Jet Lag is that the internal clock which is set as per the circadian rhythms, which tells the body to stay awake or to fall asleep becomes out of the sync with the frequent changes in the time zones along with the exposure towards the light as well as the dining times. The more are the time zones, the higher is going to be the chances of jet lag.

Due to jet lag, a person could be dealing with problems such as fatigue, lack of alertness as well as problems with the gastrointestinal problems. Though the condition is temporary, it can reduce the comfort level of the person. However, there are some ways through which a person can deal with the problems arising from Jet Lag.

Causes of Jet Lag

Some of the major causes for Jet Lag are as follows:

  • Disruption of the rhythms: Circadian Rhythms present in the human body are the ones which regulate the sleep wake cycle and can sync the body in according with the new time zones. However, when a person travels frequently and crosses multiple time zones, then there can be a major problem with the syncing of the rhythms. It takes a couple of days for the body to become synced with the time zones and therefore adjust the sleep wake cycle accordingly. The hunger and the bowel cycles of the person too are related to the circadian rhythms.
  • Sunlight and its influence: Sunlight is one of the major reasons for influencing the internal clock of a person. Sunlight is known to influence the production of melatonin, which is responsible for the synchronization of the cells all over the human body.
  • Airline pressure: The changes in the cabin pressure and the higher altitudes are a great factor in order to contribute towards the symptoms related to jet lag. If you are dehydrated while travelling, it too contributes towards causing jet lag in the affected person.

Signs and Symptoms of Jet Lag

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of Jet Lag are as follows:

  •   Disturbance in the sleeping patterns – insomnia
  •   Fatigue during the daytime
  •   Difficulty in concentration and functioning
  •   Problems with stomach and digestion
  •   Soreness of the muscles
  •   Menstrual symptoms in women

The symptoms for Jet Lag tend to occur if a person is travelling through different time zones in a short interval of time. Jet Lag is temporary and if a person is travelling often, then seeking the help from a sleep specialist can come out to very helpful.

Treatment and Drugs for Jet Lag

Generally, jet lag does not need any specific kind of treatment. However, some medications and light therapy can prove to be very helpful.

Medications: The use of drugs such as Nonbenzodiazepines as well as Benzodiazepines is very much recommended for treating jet lag. This can help the person to sleep during the flight hours and can cause some side effects such as amnesia, sleepwalking as well as nausea.

Light Therapy:

Since the internal clocks of the body can be greatly influenced with the help of the sunlight. Light therapy can come out to help the person to deal with the transition between the different time zones. Also, with the help of the bright lamp, the person can fall asleep and awake at the right time, bringing the clock of the person’s system in synchronization according to the time zone.

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