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How Jet Lag Affects the Body

December 29, 2021

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Traveling by plane has its benefits. However, long-distance plane travel is also notorious for being inconvenient and uncomfortable. After spending hours in a confined space, many people find themselves completely exhausted upon arrival at their destination. If you’ve ever flown long-distance or traveled from one time zone to another, there’s a good chance you also won’t feel your best the next day. In most cases, it’s safe to assume that you’re experiencing jet lag

Although jet lag can be frustrating, it doesn’t have to ruin your trip. On the contrary, knowing the symptoms, causes, and ways of reducing jet lag can make your travels more pleasant and less disruptive to your sleep schedule. 

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a common yet short-lived sleep problem that occurs when a person travels across more than two time zones. This abrupt shift in time causes a misalignment of your body’s internal clock, which results in those pesky feelings of grogginess, irritability, and fatigue. Jet lag can affect anyone, regardless of health, fitness, age, or how often a person flies.

Jet Lag’s Effects on the Body

The severity of jet lag depends on how many time zones a person crosses and in which direction they travel. Interestingly, the effects of jet lag tend to be more significant when traveling east rather than west, while symptoms are typically most severe the day after arriving at a destination. 

Jet lag can be frustrating, but luckily, its bothersome symptoms don’t usually last more than a few days after a flight. The most common symptoms of jet lag include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleep deprivation
  • Feeling tired or disoriented 
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Mild nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Impaired physical and mental function

How to Prevent or Reduce Jet Lag

There is no cure for jet lag, but you can reduce the symptoms. To read more about the ways jet lag can be handled, click through to read our next blog post: How to Avoid Jet Lag 

If you must take a nap upon arrival at your destination, limit it to no longer than 20 minutes. This is especially true for sleep apnea sufferers. 

Related Post: Will Napping Help Sleep Apnea Patients 

How We Can Help

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you may experience more intense symptoms of jet lag. At Advanced Homecare, our team of sleep specialists is committed to providing the best sleep apnea supplies and guidance to help you sleep well – even during long-distance travel. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative products and services. 

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