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Jet Lag

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If your journey takes you to a destination several time zones away, you will probably experience jet lag as the body internal circadian clock is only able to reset itself at a rate of about 1 hour per day. In most people, the circadian cycle tends to be slightly longer than 24 hours. Hence, most people have fewer problems with westward travel (lengthening day) than eastward travel (shortening day). Jet lag can be worsened by insufficient sleep before the journey.

If you are on a very short trip (48 hours or less), you may find it more convenient to remain on home time, rather than trying to adjust to local time.

The most common manifestations of jet lag are fatigue, headaches, insomnia and appetite problems. There is no cure for jet lag, but its effects can be minimized by avoiding caffeinated drinks for 4 hours and alcohol for 2 hours before going to bed to avoid interrupted sleep.

For westward travel, late evening exposure to bright light helps delay the onset of sleepiness. For eastward travel, early morning exposure to light helps promote sleepiness in the late evening.