What is jet-lag?
Jet lag is a disruption of the body's internal clock due to a sudden change in time zone. It is estimated that three out of four travellers experience negative effects from jet lag: sleep disturbances (especially insomnia), mood swings and increased fatigue are the main symptoms.
Jet lag is particularly strong on flights to the East.
How to fight jet lag?
During the journey
Try to sleep well on board the plane; if necessary, take a mask, a neck cushion and earplugs with you.
Drink plenty of fluids to limit dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks, and eat lightly.
It is advisable to set the time for your destination as soon as you board the plane.
It is estimated that the effects of jet lag last for as many days as the number of hours of time difference.
Adjust to local time as soon as possible, unless your stay is very short (3 days maximum), by adapting to local eating and sleeping schedules.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep, relax and exercise moderately if possible, and avoid naps, which can upset your sleep/wake cycle.
If you're travelling west, you'll need to delay your sleep cycle: wear dark glasses in the morning; expose yourself to light at night and try to delay your bedtime.
If you are travelling East, you may need to advance your cycle, so boost your alertness in the morning: take a shower rather than a bath, preferably a cool one, and expose yourself to light.
If necessary, consult your doctor to have hypnotics or stimulants prescribed. Warning: melatonin is not authorised for sale in some countries, and its effectiveness has not been proven.
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