Flying Eastwards Can Be More Tiresome Than To West – Circadian Rhythm and Jet Lag Syndrome
Jet lag or time zone change syndrome is a combination of tiredness and other symptoms caused by travelling frequently across different time zones.
Daily Rhythmic Activity Cycle
Circadian Clock Is Found In a Region Called the Suprachiasmatic Nuclei (SCN) In the Hypothalamus of the Brain
The body clock is harmonized to night and day through brain chemicals or neurotransmitters, especially melatonin by the effects of sunlight. All most all the bodily processes like temperature, digestions, heart rate, hormonal secretion, blood pressure and brain statues are set on this 24-hour physiological ‘clock’. The changing rate of body processes over each 24-hour time is called the circadian rhythm.
Traveling to different time zones disrupts the biological cycle, the circadian rhythm. Recycled air, dehydration, cramped spaces, unfamiliar foods, lack of sleep, continual low-level noise, uncomfortable clothes, connections that disrupt sleep during a long-haul flying add to the misery of jet lag.
Flying West or East Makes a Difference
You me be wondering, how it is different to fly east then to west. Considering circadian rhythm (the body clock inside our body) it may be worthwhile for you to take a westerly travel route instead of easterly. This is because travelling west extends the body clock’s familiarity of its normal day-night cycle (the normal tendency of the circadian rhythm in most of us is somewhat longer than a complete one day). Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the circadian rhythm.
Tips To Stay Fresh and Relaxed After Long Air Journey
- When you reached at the destination do the first thing to ground your electromagnetic system. For that:
- walk barefoot on the ground
- stand in direct sunlight for 10-20 minutes without glasses
- swim in the ocean or soak in an Epsom salt bath
- If it is possible try to adjust sleep and meal to the new time zone before departure. You can keep a jet lag watch with you to better adjust yourself to the new time zone before departure.
- Keep yourself hydrated before, during and after your flight. Airplane air is dry and to keep your self hydrated during a long air journey it is important to drink at least 8-12 ounces of water every hour.
- Apply lotion as often as needed to minimize dehydration of your skin.
- Avoid alcohol as much as you can before and during your flight(s)
- Whenever possible, walk around the cabin or perform performing isometric exercises to increase circulation.
- Use earplugs to reduce continuous low-level cabin noise.
Adjustment Will Not Happen Right Away
Although, you have taken all the needed care, you may not be able to avoid jet lag permanently. Experts say that whenever we travel to a different time zone, we need at least 24 hours to adjust ourselves to the new time schedule. In some case it may extend up to a week or two. Even with best-laid plans be prepared for at least one or two days of fatigue and digestive problems when you are crossing a different time zone especially towards the east.