Jet Lag Definition - What is Jet Lag and How to Avoid Jet Lag?

Jet lag is the disorientation in the normal biological circadian rhythm, which is experienced by a person traveling from one time zone to another with more than four hours difference.
The greater the time difference, the greater the degree of disorientation.

Jet lag symptoms

During the time the traveler needs for his or her body to adjust to new eating and sleeping patterns, he or she may feel disoriented, tired, and “out of sync” with the new schedule, that is, sleepy during the day, awake at night, and hungry at inconvenient hours.
The body temperature may also no longer be synchronized with day and night requirements.

How to avoid jet lag

The symptoms of jet lag are often made worse by overeating and by a high consumption of alcohol during the flight, which is known to cause dehydration.
It is, therefore, advisable to drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids during a long flight.
Some people believe that jet lag may be completely avoided by abstaining totally from alcohol and eating as lightly as possible during the flight, preferably on the schedule of mealtimes in the destination time zone.
Additionally, a diet developed by some researches is thought by some travelers to help adjust the circadian rhythms prior to flying by altering the intake of food and caffeine for several days before travel. There is no medical evidence to support this; people are advised to check with their physician before following the diet, since it could have detrimental effects on certain health conditions, such as diabetes.

Jet Lag Treatment

The body may take a long time to adjust to a new circadian rhythm, possibly as long as 10 days.
If the stay in the new time zone is to be brief, it is often advisable not to try to adapt, but rather to retain the familiar rhythm, even at the expense of unusual hours.
On a business trip this generally means that at least some working hours fall within commercial times.
A longer stay in the new time zone requires adaptation.
A mild sedative, prescribed by a physician, may help to ensure proper sleep for a few nights after arrival. The body will adjust its eating habits to conform with the new sleeping pattern.