Is it really already May? I’ve been back from London for, what, more than a week now? And I think I’ve FINALLY fully recovered from the jet lag. Man, that stuff is no joke!
I wrote a bit about air travel earlier this week because I spent two days on airplanes lately and the Flight 12 project is rushing toward the BIG CONTEST (starts May 12!!). So I thought I’d continue the theme into this weekend, and share a few facts about jet lag.
- Jet lag is classified as a temporary sleep disorder. (No kidding!)
- It takes approximately one day per-time-zone-crossed to recover. (Yikes!)
- Airlines have regulations to help ensure that pilots have time to recover from jet lag. (Thank Heavens!)
- Jet lag is caused by a disruption of the circadian rhythm. In a new time zone, circadian rhythms become out of sync with external cues like daylight and dining times. (Or maybe it’s just that we don’t get enough sleep?)
- Airplanes tend to compound the symptoms. Pressurized air means less oxygen in the blood, which can lead to general discomfort and dehydration, making it more difficult to get the circadian rhythm back on track. (Okay. I totally believe this one.)
- Adjusting your watch to the time it will be at your destination can help, though this approach is mostly psychological. (I do this. Does it help? Maybe.)
- Symptoms include sore muscles, stomach problems, difficulty functioning, and daytime fatigue. (Whew! For a minute there, I thought I was just lazy….)
What “tricks of the trade” do you use when traveling — to help with sleep, or otherwise?
Wishing you all a healthy and restful weekend, wherever you may be!
Diane, I always find that a good dose of gin and tonic works on a long flight.