April 2016

Jet Lag: real or surreal?

Did you ever have jet lag? I had it when I was on my flight from the United Kingdom to Bolivia. My internal clock was not working anymore. But what is jet lag? And is it real? Yes, it is! I will explain to you the symptoms.

By: Philippa Bailey
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Jarrow - United Kingdom

Jet Lag during breakfast
Photo by: Louis Vest

Jet lag is a temporary sleeping disorder that can affect anyone who changes time zones quickly. It can also affect people who travel across multiple time zones in a brief time period. Your body has an internal clock that signals when it is time to sleep. When you have jet lag, it means that your body clock has no time to adapt to a new situation.

Source: futureatlas

Jet lag experience

It is more likely that you will experience jet lag when you fly from east to west than north to south. When you fly from east to west you pass through many time zones. You also experience jet lag when you go back in time, rather than forward in time. For example, I never experienced jet lag flying to India or Sri Lanka; yet I had insomnia when I came from the United Kingdom to Bolivia.

Jet Lag Symptoms

Fatigue and disorientation

Jet lag can cause tiredness and disorientation for days after arriving. You can also have a lack of concentration and motivation. This is especially for the activity that requires plenty of concentration.

Interrupted sleep

When you cross time zones, it affects your sleep and can cause insomnia. You can also be tired for days. You feel tired when you should be awake and awake when you should be tired. Probably you need one day to recover for each time zone that is crossed.

Confusion and fuzziness

Another symptom is creating obsessions. For example, you might check every time if your hotel room is locked.

Getting up tight

“Losing it” is another symptom. When you have this, you think that everything is going wrong. I felt exactly the same way when I was on my flight to Bolivia.


When in the airplane, you can become dehydrated and susceptible to colds and coughs. It is advisable to drink plenty of fruits but to avoid alcohol.

Uncomfortable legs and feet

Swollen legs and feet are a side effect from jet lag. This can be prevented by wearing normal shoes. You should move your feet as much as possible during long flights.

Now you know how to prevent jet lag during long flights. Though, do not be scared to fly, because when you close your eyes and think about what you are going to do, jet lag is nothing!

Sources http://blog.crew.co/the-truth-about-jet-lag-and-how-to-overcome-it/

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