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Jet Lag

Advice, techniques and treatments to aid lack of sleep and jet lag

Jet lag is a condition which can affect people travelling across different time zones over a short space of time, such as in the case of long-distant flights. There are in fact 24 time zones around the world. Your body clock will have gotten used to the sleep and wake pattern at home, travelling abroad to a different time zone can confuse your body especially after a long haul trip. The symptoms mostly include disturbances in sleeping patterns, although it can also cause anxiety, irritability, drowsiness, headaches and nausea. This can be inconvenient and troublesome when abroad, especially if you are travelling for a short period of time and the body does not have time to recover.

If you are planning a long-distance trip abroad, you may want to consider an online consultation with euroClinix, where you can purchase a Jet Lag Treatment Pack that contains natural hormones in order to help regulate your sleeping patterns and help to limit the symptoms of jet lag. If your order for the Jet Lag Treatment Pack is approved by one of our doctors, you will receive your medication within 24 hours.

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What is Jet lag?

Jet lag is the name for symptoms suffered by travellers that fly to parts of the world that have large differences in time zones. Your body will have got used to the time zone that you most regularly live in. this is due to your regular habits such as sleeping, working, socialising and eating. Getting used to a new pattern of time can mess your internal body clock around leaving it confused so that you feel the need to sleep when you should be awake and even eat at times your body is not used to. This can lead to problems with digestion as well as lethargy when you are usually alert and awake. Jet lag can occur when you land in a country with a different time zone as well as after your return home as your body adjusts to the changes.

What causes jet lag?

When you travel to a different time zone the body needs time to adjust to the new schedule of sleeping, waking and even eating. Jet lag is often confused with general travel fatigue. The difference between the two is that there are factors other than time zones that can lead to general travel fatigue where as it is the difference in time zone that cause jet lag.

The symptoms of jet lag are caused by the body trying to adapt to a new time zone. Sleep disturbance is usually caused by the problems with circadian rhythms which are controlled by the body clock. As the time when the sun comes up and goes down is different in a new time zone the circadian rhythm has to be realigned.

Because of how quick a person is able to travel across time zones with modern transportation methods the body cannot adjust quickly enough to avoid jet lag symptoms. If you are travelling to an East time zone you gain time which means that time is lost. This has been shown to cause more jet lag symptoms than people that travel to the West. The reason for this is that the body finds it easier to adjust to staying up later than going to bed earlier than usual.

What are the symptoms?

Jet lag symptoms can range in severity. The usual consensus is that the more time zones travelled over the more severe the symptoms will be. Jet lag symptoms are usually experienced after the crossing of three or more time zones. The most common symptom of jet lag is lethargy and tiredness. This can cause people to be awake when they should be asleep and vice versa. As jet lag symptoms can last for up to 6 days getting the right treatment can help you to enjoy your trip abroad (and return home) more enjoyable. Other symptoms of jet lag include:

  • Digestion problems including constipation and diarrhoea
  • Concentration disturbances
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety and sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle aches
  • Change in menstrual cycle for regular female travellers

Who is most at risk?

Anyone who travels across multiple time zones is likely to suffer from some jet lag symptoms, although it is thought that babies and children are less at risk as their sleeping patterns tend to be less structured. People over the age of 60 tend to be more prone to the condition and anyone who has suffered from symptoms when travelling in the past is more likely to experience them again.

How to prevent jet lag

Jet lag cannot entirely be avoided, especially if the flight is extremely long and/or you plan on spending more than a few days abroad before flying home. There are however ways to avoid jet lag symptoms or minimise them.

Get as much sleep as possible and if the flight takes you into the night get further sleep on the plane if you can to give you more chance of staying up until nighttime when you reach your destination. If you are travelling over many time zones you could make adaptions to your usual sleep and eating pattern to minimise jet lag symptoms on arrival. This is not always possible if the flight was planned last minute or other commitments don't allow but can be helped by using prescribed melatonin, which is a medication to help the body adjust to light and dark differences.

Before you travel

  • Change your sleeping pattern a few weeks before your destination by altering your sleeping routine in accordance with your destination.
  • Get enough sleep before you begin your travel. Flying when you are tired can make jet lag worse.
  • Keep calm and relaxed before your journey, making sure to avoid stress.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the flight, being sure to avoid alcohol.

During your flight

  • Take short naps during the flight
  • Limit your caffeine consumption and avoid any drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee or tea or coke
  • Eat light meals
  • Avoid alcohol as this can make the symptoms of jet worse
  • Keep active and take regular walks around the cabin to stretch your legs. Additionally, stretch your arms and legs while sitting down to avoid a serious condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Change the time of your watch so that you are able to quickly adjust to the new time zones.

On arrival

  • Once you arrive get as much sleep as you usually would ensuring you get a minim of four during the night of the local time zone. You can order melatonin online from euroClinix to help you sleep despite the time zone difference. Use naps instead of using the day to catch up on hours missed.

The jet lag treatment pack contains melatonin to help the body adjust to a new time zone. Melatonin is a treatment available on prescription and is usually produced by the body naturally in response to the night falling as an indication that the body needs to relax and prepare for sleep. When you have jet lag this hormone is not naturally released until the usual time zone time, which is where melatonin can work well as a jet lag treatment to aid natural sleep during the transition.

Can you cure jet lag?

There is no such thing as a jet lag cure as it is not a disease. However, the symptoms of can be treated using a treatment pack, which includes a hormone that the body produces naturally in the evenings to instruct the brain to sleep. This can help with some of the most common symptoms and makes it easier for the body to adjust to the new time zone.

How to buy treatment for jet lag online safely

Yes. Treatment packs to avoid jet lag symptoms are available to purchase online at euroClinix after completing an online consultation. To purchase the jet lag treatment pack online safely it must first be prescribed. You don't have to see your GP to get the prescription, just fill in the free simple online consultation form. This is to determine whether the treatment pack to avoid jet lag will be effective and safe for you to take. If your order is approved by one of our doctors, you will be issued a prescription which will be dispatched from a registered pharmacy for free next day delivery so that you can take your medication with you on your holiday.

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