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Did you ever heard about the term Jet Lag? Well, Jet Lag, also referred to as desynchronosis is typical symptoms followed by a person when they experience changes in their Circadian Rhythm. It is caused by rapid travel across timezones in transmeridian direction. It is often seen in people who travel in high speed aircrafts also called jets. Hence it is called Jet Lag. For Example, if someone travels from London to California, he feels as if the time were 8 hours later. This condition may last for several days depending on the individual, direction of travel, etc. The issue of jet lag is quite serious for people who are frequent travellers - such as pilots, business heads, air crew, etc.

Why Jet Lag occurs?

The changes in our body's biological clock due to changes in time zones causes the Jet Lag. The human body works in a 24 hours cycle called Circadian Rhythm. All our activities, like sleep, eating, rest, efficiency, concentration depends on the cycle. The plasma levels of certain hormones also govern the impact of change in Circadian Rhythm.

Symptoms of Jet Lag

The typical symptoms of jet lag can be varied and depends how people can cope. It is dependent on the number of time zones changed, time of the day and individual capabilities. Some of the symptoms are as follows:

- Sleep disturbances due to lack of sleep
- Trouble awakenening or falling asleep depending on the direction of travel.
- Interrupted sleep due to multiple awakening.
- Poorer performance on tasks which involves concentration
- High fatigue and body ache
- Headaches
- Irritability,
- Indigestion

There is a tool for measuring the Jet Lag and its severity. The Liverpool Jet lag Questionnaire measures symptoms of jet lag which assess jet lag in athletes travelling across timezones.

How to Cope with Jet Lag

There are some small behaviour adjustments which can help in controlling/minimizing effects of Jet Lag. Some of the tips are as follows:

1. Choose a flight by which you reach the destination in early evening.
2. Prepare for your trip and adjust your sleep pattern to adapt with destination timezone. Wakeup early, or later if you are travelling eastward or westward respectively.
3. Change your watch to reflect right time as per timezone you are in.
4. Do not consume alcohol, caffeine, before sleep time (as per destination timezone).
5. Carry with yourself, the earplugs and blindfolds which help you in sleeping.
6. Try to take a walk outside in the sun since sunlight is one of the most powerful stimulant for biological clock.
7. Do not stay indoors since jet lag worsens due to non-availability of day light.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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