Jet Lag, Flight Sickness

Namaste, Jet Lag, Flight Sickness


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Jet Lag and Flight Sickness

The biggest cause of the jet lag is crossing of the time zones, which affects the body's circadian rhythms. The direction of travel is also a major factor. This syndrome is most severely felt when associated with East-West, West-East or Transpolar Flights. It affects the travelers, flight attendants and pilots. Some of the common symptoms during flight sickness are disorientation, irritation, fatigue, swollen limbs and eyes, headache, cold and irregular bowels.

Jet Lag, Flight Sickness

The effects are made worse by variations in atmospheric pressure each time the aircraft takes off and lands, and also by pre flight stress, tiredness or hangovers. Other factors that appear to affect the jet lag include the dryness of the air supply, the temptation to consume alcohol, to eat more than necessary during flight and the lack of body movement in the legs and feet.

Facts about Jet Lag and Flight Sickness

Circadian dysrhythmia is experienced by the flying professionals and with the passengers. Sometimes this contradict the often heard claim that frequent travelers develop an ability to overcome this problem. Some the well known symptoms of the jet lag which are easily recognized by the sufferer are as follows:

  • Disruption to circadian rhythms caused by crossing time zones, result in broken sleep, with the sufferer waking during the night and then wanting to fall asleep during the day. The number of days this dysrhythmia lasts has been observed to be about equal to the number of time zones crossed.

  • Fatigue is often accompanied with the lack of concentration and motivation, especially for any activity that requires effort or skill, such as driving, concentrated reading or business negotiation.

  • Disorientation and vagueness.

Besides this symptoms, the syndrome is more affected by the physical effects of being confined in an airline for hours. Discomfort of legs and feet due to swollen limbs while flying prevent the travelers wearing their normal shoes for up to 24 hours after arrival. Dehydration due to the dry atmosphere causes headaches, dry skin and nasal irritation. This in turn result in a general feeling of unwellness and more affected by cold or other infections. The World Health Organization has also cited jet lag as more common factor in case of diarrhoea caused by microbiological contamination of water or food, which it believes affects about 20% to 50% of all travelers.


Prepare yourself before you fly

Before going anywhere one should treat his body well. For this one should exercise, sleep well, stay hydrated and sober. Some travelers like to exercise before they go to the airport. You should also avoid the escalators and moving at the sidewalks at the airport, and walk to your check-in area, and to your gate connections.

Precautions during the Flight

The most effective way to treat the jet lag during the flight is by treating your body well. One should avoid alcohol and caffeine just before and during the flight. Both alcohol and caffeine possess diuretic properties, which means that it enables one to lose water and promote dehydration. Alcohol causes drowsiness and the sluggish feeling among various travelers. So, one should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drinks and bring the bottled water.

During the flight you can also get up out of the seat at regular intervals and walk and stretch. You can also do various exercises like toe raises, isometric exercises (simply contract and relax as many muscle groups as possible while seated), stomach crunches, and shoulder shrugs right in your seat. Wear loose fitting clothing that breathes. Blindfolds, ear plugs, neck rests and blow-up pillows are very useful that help one to get the quality sleep while flying. You can also remove your shoes to ease pressure on the feet, and swelling.

During the long-haul flight, showers are available at some stopovers. A shower freshens you up, relax the muscles and circulation and make you feel much better for the rest of the flight.

How to treat Jet Lag

If you arrive in the morning, try to stay awake. If possible one should try to wait until the local bedtime to sleep. You will sleep better and will be less likely to suffer insomnia than if you take a nap upon arriving.


Medications for flight Sickness

Some travelers use sleeping pills, antihistamines and motion sickness pills to induce sleep on planes, in airports, and on layovers. These pills work well but sometimes they also left one very tired. One should always consult the doctor before taking any medication.
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