Do you know what desynchronosis is? It’s the medical term for jet lag, a temporary sleep disorder that’s caused by moving through several time zones in a short period. The more time zones one crosses, the more tired and sleepy he or she will be. Jet lag usually results in disturbed sleep, daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating and functioning, and even stomach problems.
Studies have shown that for each time zone crossed, it takes 1-2 days to recover. This is because moving through time zones causes the internal body clock or circadian rhythm to be disrupted.
“cues such as light exposure, mealtimes,
social engagement, and activities
regulate our circadian rhythm”
says Allison T. Siebern, Ph.D. at the
Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center.
The only way to recover from this is to give the body time to adjust to the new time zone.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR TRIP
There is no fixed cure for jet lag, but its effects can be reduced by taking a few precautions before traveling.
Get your body used to the new time zone by changing your eating and sleeping timings.
>> If you’re journeying east, try sleeping an hour early a few days before your flight.
>> If you’re going westwards, try sleeping an hour later than you usually do. This would help your body adjust better to the time zone of your destination.
>> Another way to mentally prepare yourself is to set your watch to the new time zone. It’s also best if you get a good night’s sleep before you travel and take short naps on the flight.
WHAT TO DO DURING TRAVELLING
While you are traveling, make sure you have small meals instead. For example, carbohydrate-rich food can make you feel heavy and tired.
>> Rice, potatoes, pasta, and burgers will increase your need for sleep. So it’s a better choice of food while traveling eastwards.
>> If you’re traveling west, you can have lighter, more protein-rich food like meat, fish, or eggs. This will give you enough energy to stay awake and not feel sleepy.
>> Avoid large amounts of caffeine or caffeinated drinks, even alcohol is inadvisable. Wine might help you sleep, but the effect is only temporary as it causes dehydration and makes jet lag worse. Caffeine will disturb your sleep pattern and increase the possibility of fatigue.
>> Drink more water and fresh juice.
>> Remember to use the restroom as often as you need too, and stretch your legs with a short walk down the aisle.
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE TRAVEL
Try not to sleep after landing at your destination if it’s day time there, it would take your body longer to recover from jet lag.
>> You can schedule your flight so that it’s night time when you land, and you can get a good night’s sleep before you start the day. Your body will still need a few days to recover as it adjusts to the new time zone.
>> Another option to take a connecting flight that stops in another country so that you can get some rest and time to recover before traveling again.
>> Staying out in the sunlight will help to reduce fatigue and sleepiness. Natural light and fresh air will help your body since the airplane would be dry and cramped.
While all these are conscious ways to avoid the paralyzing effects of jet lag, there is one simple yet effective method as well. It’s called earthing.
>> When you reach your destination; take off your shoes, and stand on the grass (sand or mud) for 30 minutes. It’s simple really, the free electrons from the Earth are transferred to the body, acting as natural antioxidants that cleanse the body.
>> When traveling by air, almost 42,000 feet off the ground, our bodies absorb the positive energy in the atmosphere created by chemical reactions in the Earth’s ionosphere. This ‘positive potential’ causes inflammation and imbalance that aggravates jet lag.
That’s why Earthing is necessary, the negative potential from the Earth will cancel out the effect of the positive potential, giving you immediate respite.
The concept of Earthing is explained by
Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism.
There are further studies conducted by other experts, including the California Institute of Human Sciences, to strengthen this claim.
Y travel blogs, co-founders Caroline and Craig Makepeace, have also written about Earthing as their secret to beating jet lag. There’s little worry about now when you’re traveling, as long as you take a few simple measures to beat jet lag.