What is Jet Lag?
A health article about jet lag sleep disorder from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
One common problem with jet lag is that, for many people, the true effects of jet lag are not immediately apparent and it may take a day or two to "catch up" with you.
In addition, the excitement of arriving at your holiday destination, or for an important business meeting, may also tend to mask the symptoms of jet lag. So, if you arrive at your destination feeling like a million dollars and throw yourself into your holiday or business activities - beware! Jet lag will almost certainly creep up and hit you on the back of the head just when you least expect it.
Signs & Symptoms
The feelings of disorientation encountered as a result of crossing time zones are known as jet lag. Common symptoms of Jet lag include
• Fatigue and general tiredness.
• Inability to sleep at night.
• Loss of concentration.
• Headaches and general malaise.
What is Jet lag ?
Jet lag is a feeling of irritability, insomnia, indigestion and general disorientation.
It occurs when the body's inner clock is out of synchronization with time cues it receives from the environment.
Time cues include meal times, sunrise and sunset, and daily cycles of rest and activity.
Our bodies have internal clocks that are far more powerful than we realize.
The time you wake up, when you eat, and when you bed down for the night are all determined by this internal clock.
Most of the time, your body's clock corresponds to your daily schedule - which is why you wake up at the start of the day and go to sleep at the end.
When you travel across time zones, however, all of a sudden your body's clock and the "external" clocks are out of sync.
When you fly from New Delhi to Los Angels, for example, the clock in your hotel may say it's 7 p.m., but your body thinks that it's midnight and time to be sleeping.
Jet lag can make you tired and forgetful. It throws off your sleep schedule, so you may have trouble falling asleep or wake up too early.
In some cases, people who have jet lag feel irritable, lose their appetites, or even have digestive problems such as heartburn or indigestion.
What Causes jet lag sleep disorder?
Jet-lag occurs when biological rhythms are disrupted as a result of rapid transitions across multiple time-zones. Such de synchronization of rhythms also occurs in nocturnal shift work employees who transfer to night shifts.
The main but not the only cause of jet lag is crossing time zones. Usually going east is worse than going west. Children under three don't seem to suffer jet lag badly as they are more adaptive and less set in their ways.
Adults who adjust readily to changes of routine also seem less susceptible to jet lag. Those who are slaves to a fixed daily routine are often the worst sufferers.
Jet lag is actually caused by disruption of your "body clock" - a small cluster of brain cells that controls the timing of biological functions (circadian rhythms), including when you eat and sleep.
The body clock is designed for a regular rhythm of daylight and darkness, so that it is thrown out of "sync" when it experiences daylight and darkness at the "wrong" times in a new time zone.
The symptoms of Jet lag often persist for days while the internal body clock slowly adjusts to the new time zone.
Adjust your biological clock
The biological clock of the body needs a while after a journey into another time belt, in order to adjust itself to the new rhythm. Physical and mental symptoms can occur here such as headache, listlessness or nausea, but none jet lag must be helplessly delivered.
Daylight helps itself the cells, automatically to program on ‘Day’. When you fly in direction to the east, for example to Thailand, it might be harder for you - you lose several hours. In order to prepare some days in advance for the new sleep rhythm, you should spend some time in the daylight in the early evening. During the flight it is advisable to sleep in advance. Then the adjustment goes faster.
When you travel toward the west, approximately to the USA, you’ll have it easier. Nevertheless you should try to plan its arrival around noon time to get the brightest light of the day. Important appointments or activities at the arrival place you should plan at the time of day, at which you are most awake: After a flight in direction to the east in the evening, after a flight in direction to the west in the morning.
Sleep on board
Many humans have problems to fall asleep on the tiny seat in the airplane. Therefore in such a way some seizes to sleep pills or tranquilizers. This unnatural interference into the bio rhythm of the body affects negatively to your adjustment at recent time conditions.
It is healthier to create yourself in the airplane as good sleep conditions as possible: Take yourself an inflatable neck cushion and an eye mask in the airplane. Some airlines distribute themselves these implements on board, but you shouldn’t rely on it however.
Since feet often swell on a flight, it is advisable to take your shoes off and to carry yourself on a warm cosy pair of socks. Even if you feel yourself it’s not cold, you should cover yourselves before falling asleep with a light cover (you’ll get one by all long distance flights), so that you do not wake up freezing and protect yourself from a cold!
I for myself know what I’m talking about. I have seen many people who underestimated this point and had a cold at their additional days after their flight.
Avoid drinking alcohol
Tiny alcohol bottles on board often used as a falling asleep assistance during the flight. In the airplane these affect however - exactly the same as tranquilizers - three times as strongly as down on the earth! If you are suffering from fear of flight you should avoid alcohol here, since psychological symptoms can occur such as aggression or depression (however, this is an extensive subject. I will post an article about this in the future. For now I focus on ‘jet lag’).
In addition alcohol supports the drainage of the body, which particularly begins fast on long distance flights. As consequence headache and listlessness appear. The air within an airplane is often drier than in the desert! While the air humidity of the Sahara amounts to about 20 per cent, it occurs at long distance flights that it falls below the ten-per cent border. Therefore you should drink much water during, before and after the flight.
Professionals take beverages themselves
In many cases the water on board isn’t particularly good-tasting and is served in containers by the size of an egg cup. You won’t to constantly trouble a flight attendant with your desires. Therefore take yourself also a large bottle of your preferential mineral water on board.
Sleeping in advance to the trip
To the complete habituation time of your body the following rule of thumb applies: One day per hour time lag. With a difference of six hours that would be six days, until the biological clock of the body ticks in conformity with the time belt. When you then precautionary go to bed one our earlier/later per day, your body get used to the new daytime.
Clear the decks before your departure
A much overlooked aspect of jet lag is the part played by stress. Running around trying to do a 1001 last minute jobs in the week before you fly. Worrying about whether the house will be safe. Sitting up until midnight the night before your flight paying the household bills. Sound familiar?
Plan well in advance and make sure that you’ve taken care of everything at least three or four days before you go. Then take it easy, get lots of rest and set aside time specifically for relaxation.
Start adjusting your bedtime before you go
In the two weeks before your trip start to gradually adjust your bedtime. If you’re flying east, bring your bedtime forward by ten or fifteen minutes each night so that, by the time you leave, you’re going to bed about two hours earlier than normal.
This will ‘narrow the gap’ between the time at which your body wants to go to bed and the time that the clock says you should go to bed at your destination.
Similarly, if you’re traveling west, put your bedtime back by ten or fifteen minutes each day.
Reduce you caffeine intake
Coffee, as well as other caffeinated drinks, both speeds up and slows down your internal body clock, depending upon the time of day that you consume it. When you’re settled into a regular pattern of sleep this doesn’t necessarily present too much of a problem, as the effects can tend to ‘balance out’.
However, when your body clock finds itself at odds with local time the effects of caffeine can be quite marked and add considerably to the problems of jet lag.
With the exception of any prescribed medication that you normally take, you should avoid sleeping pills, so-called ‘jet lag’ pills and over the counter medication for jet lag. Not only do these have little or no beneficial effect, many of them can actually add to your problems.
In particular, avoid the common temptation to take sleeping pills during your flight. They may well help you to get to sleep on the aircraft, but they will add to your problems when you arrive at your destination.
Dress comfortably for your flight
Choose comfortable and loose fitting clothes to travel in and tuck a pair of slippers into your carry-on luggage to wear on board the aircraft. It’s nice to be able to get dressed up and go out once you reach your destination but nobody is going to expect you to get dressed up to the nines while you’re traveling.
Take something special with you
It can often be difficult settling in strange surroundings and, in particular, relaxing sufficiently to fall asleep. So, take one or two items of special significance with you, perhaps a family photograph or a favorite bedside ornament, to help give a little bit of the feel of home.
Get out in the sunshine
If you have Jet Lag when you reach your destination get out into daylight as much as possible during the first few days of your trip. Daylight sends powerful signals to your body clock and you’ll find that it adjusts far more quickly if it is exposed to the normal cycle of daylight and darkness at your destination. So take advantage of this and don’t hide yourself away indoors.
If your destination is in a time zone that is behind the time back home it is often claimed that taking a nap as soon as possible after your arrival is helpful.
This is, however, not advisable, unless you really feel that you cannot press on without some sleep. If this is the case, try to take only a short nap lasting no more than about thirty or forty minutes.
The best cure for jet lag, and its associated insomnia, is to press on to the normal bedtime at your destination and, thereby, to immediately begin the process of adapting your internal body clock to its new environment.
If you arrive at a destination that is ahead of your home time then try to sleep through as much of the night as possible, even though your body still thinks that it's the middle of the day.
Here the use of natural remedies such as herbal teas, as well as a warm (but not hot) bath, aromatherapy or relaxation and meditation exercises can be extremely helpful in triggering the body's natural sleep cycle.
Light also plays a very important role in reducing the effects of jet lag and you should try to expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during normal waking hours.
If you arrive during the day avoid the temptation to sit and rest in your hotel room or lounge and get out and about in the daylight until it's time for your normal evening routine.
You should also continue to pay attention to your diet. Eating and drinking to excess is often a normal part of any holiday or business trip, but try to avoid over-indulging in the first two or three days after arrival.
In particular, limit your intake of such things as caffeine and alcohol, as well as other stimulants.
Finally, don't neglect your body's need for exercise. Taking regular daily aerobic exercise for at least twenty minutes (even if that's only a brisk walk back to your hotel rather than a taxi ride) is an important part of any plan to cure jet lag.
Self Care strategies for Living with Jet Lag sleep disorder
Home remedies to cure Jet lag
You don't have to stay home to beat jet lag. Making a few changes in your habits before and after you travel will help put things right. Here's how.
• Stock up on sleep. Although you can't store sleep like pennies in a jar, getting extra sleep before you travel can go a long way toward helping you feel refreshed when you arrive.
• Plan time to unwind. Sleep experts recommend timing your travel so that you arrive at your destination fairly early in the evening. This will give you time to have a good dinner and to unwind before going to bed. Try to make yourself go to bed at the new time.
Of course, the rules are slightly different depending on the direction you're traveling. If you're flying east, it's going to be later when you arrive, so you may want to leave a little bit earlier in the day. Flying west, on the other hand, can cause you to lose a few hours, so you may want to book your flight a little bit later.
• Stock up on fluids. Airline cabins are incredibly dry. Many people get dehydrated before they reach their destinations - and dehydration makes jet lag worse. Doctors recommend drinking a lot of water or juice before you leave home, as well as on the plane. Don't drink alcohol, however, because it can make dehydration worse.
• Keep moving. It's not exactly easy to move around on the plane, but keeping active will help you stay energized and refreshed. At the very least you should walk the aisles periodically and do simple stretching exercises in your seat. When you arrive at your destination, take a little time to walk around or, if your hotel has a pool or gym, get in some exercise. Helps to prevent Jet lag.
• Spend some time outdoors. Your body's internal clock is partially regulated by sunlight. Spending time outdoors when you arrive at your new destination will help your body clock adjust more quickly to the transition.
• The Anti-Jet-Lag Diet incorporates high-protein meals for breakfast and lunch because proteins stimulate the body to produce catacholamines, bio chemicals that it naturally produces during the active part of the daily cycle.
• Showers. During extended stopovers on a long haul flight, showers are sometimes available. A shower not only freshens you up but gets the muscles and circulation going again and makes you feel much better for the rest of the flight.
Diet change strategies:
There are certain foods which improve our sleep. These foods are rich in trytophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that slows down nerve traffic and lulls us into restful sleep. Eating carbohydrates rich in trytophan makes this calming amino acid more available to brain.
Foods containing trytophan that aid sleep are
. Sesame seeds
Tip: Avoid eating junk food and highly refined food at night because fibre-rich food increases serotonin availability, but processed carbs over stimulates insulin, which leads to disturbed sleep.
Other Bed time snacks can include:
. Whole grain cereal with milk
. Sesame seeds
. Oatmeal or raisin cookies
Tip: Lighter meals are more likely to give you a good night's sleep.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
Studies have shown a link between Vitamin B12 and other health conditions including insomnia. The body requires vitamin B12 to manufacture red blood cells and myelin. Myelin is the fatty lining around nerve cells. There has been a great deal of research into the effectiveness of vitamin B12 injections and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 is a part of the natural diet of most of the Western countries, with the exceptions of Vegans. The vitamin is found in significant amounts in animal protein-foods including meat, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy products. The small amounts of vitamin B12 present in these different foods are more than enough to provide a supply for a healthy diet.
Vegans, on the other hand, especially strict Vegans who do not allow any of these Vitamin B12 source foods into their diets, will eventually develop a dietary deficiency. The deficiency usually takes years to develop and B12 supplements can stave off that effect.
Vitamin B12 acts along with folic acid and vitamin b6 to control different levels in the body. A deficiency can cause fatigue, whereas those who are not deficient may feel a significant energy boost upon taking additional B12.
Vitamin B12 injections have been used to treat sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Injections of 2,500 to 5,000 milligrams every two to three days has shown a significant improvement in the energy levels of those suffering from CFS. B12 deficiencies are not common and they are usually related to diet or malapsorption through the intestines. Both of which are treatable with dietary adjustments.
Doctor's recommend that vitamin supplements be used as a regular part of a healthy diet. Vitamin supplements whether including the B12 complex or otherwise, should not be used as the replacement for a healthy diet unless there is a total absence of the vitamin such as found in Vegan's dietary concerns.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your jet lag sleep disorders problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
As Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification
As well as about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells.
There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate. We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about jet lag sleep disorder :
Good quality sleep is a habit. If you make the changes above, don’t expect changes in your sleep pattern to occur overnight, give it time. And be forgiving of yourself. Nothing prevents a good nights sleep more than the increased sense of annoyance at not being able to go to sleep. So quit trying, get up and do something relaxing.
child sleep disorders
Childhood sleep disturbances affect not only the child but also the whole family. There is an abundance of different beliefs and lore on this topic. Sifting through the enormous amount of material, approaches, and opinions about kids' sleep can be daunting for parents.
There is not one correct way to deal with your child in regard to sleep. Each child is unique and has his own special set of circumstances and needs. What's important is for parents to identify what they feel comfortable with and what they feel is best for their child.
daily sleep requirements
It’s a basic necessity of life, as important to our health and well-being as air, food and water.
When we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed, alert and ready to face daily challenges. When we don’t meet our daily sleep requirements, every part of our lives can suffer. Our jobs, relationships, productivity, health and safety (and that of those around us) are all put at risk.
In general, there are three levels of energy level, hyperthymic, even balanced and hypothymic. To figure out in which energy do you fall in, answer the following questions.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Ekbom’s syndrome is a misunderstood common condition which causes the legs and sometimes the arms to twitch just before going to sleep; this can cause problems with insomnia Around one in twenty people suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) during their life, it tends to affect women more than men especially pregnant women and middle aged women, other groups that tend to suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) are those suffering from kidney disease, nerve diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and varicose veins
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Natural Sleep Aids & better sleep Tips
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Jet lag sleep disorder
One common problem with jet lag is that, for many people, the true effects of jet lag are not immediately apparent and it may take a day or two to "catch up" with you. In addition, the excitement of arriving at your holiday destination, or for an important business meeting, may also tend to mask the symptoms of jet lag. So, if you arrive at your destination feeling like a million dollars and throw yourself into your holiday or business activities - beware! Jet lag will almost certainly creep up and hit you on the back of the head just when you least expect it.
Statistics show that about 45% of adult’s snores from time to time while around 25% snores regularly. This is mostly considered as a problem that needs some intervention or treatment.
Generally, snoring is most common in men than women. Overweight people show more tendencies to snore than those within normal weight. Age appears to aggravate the situation as well.
Sleep apnea, sleep apnoea or sleep apnœa is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These episodes, called apneas (literally, "without breath"), each last long enough so one or more breaths are missed, and occur repeatedly throughout sleep. The standard definition of any apneic event includes a minimum 10 second interval between breaths, with either a neurological arousal (3-second or greater shift in EEG frequency, measured at C3, C4, O1, or O2), or a blood oxygen desaturation of 3-4 percent or greater, or both arousal and desaturation. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram.
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What are some better sleep bedtime drink recipes?
Caffeine is best avoided from mid-afternoon onwards, but in general, hot drinks have a calming effect at bedtime, especially in cold weather.
If you wake frequently in the night, a flask filled with a hot, caffeine-free drink such as herbal tea, chicory “coffee” or plain hot water, can provide an instant soother.
It also means that you don’t need to get up out of bed, making it easier to return to sleep.
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