How to prevent jet lag, how to get rid of it?

How to prevent jet lag how to get rid of it
How to prevent jet lag how to get rid of it

“Jet lag is hard when traveling abroad” “Jet lag is so bad on overseas business trips that I can’t work.” It seems that it will be difficult to travel abroad for a while due to the influence of the new coronavirus, but as a sleep medicine professional, I will introduce the secret to preventing jet lag and how to relieve jet lag so that you can spend a comfortable time during your trip and after returning home. increase.

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I can’t get rid of jet lag and I’m always sleepy…Is there a way to prevent jet lag?

When it is easy to take long vacations, there is a rush for overseas travel. It seems that traveling will continue to be difficult this year due to the influence of the new coronavirus, but even after the weather clears up and the ban on overseas travel is lifted, I would like to avoid having my trip ruined by drowsiness. Many people, especially those traveling to America and Europe, suffer from jet lag . Is this unavoidable? Here are some tips to get rid of the symptoms of jet lag as quickly as possible.

“Jet lag” is sleep medicine “jet lag” … Symptom check list

What is commonly called jet lag is called jet lag in sleep medicine . According to international diagnostic criteria, jet lag is defined as the following three cases:

  • Awareness of insomnia or hypersomnia when traveling on a jet airliner to a place with a time difference of at least 3 hours
  • Within 1-2 days after travel, physical symptoms such as decreased daytime mental and physical function, general malaise, and gastrointestinal disorders
  • The sleep disorder is not well explained by other sleep disorders, medical or psychiatric illnesses, drug use, etc.

The most common symptom of jet lag is, of course, sleep disturbance. In a survey of pilots, 67% complained of trouble sleeping. One in 10 people complaining of sleep disorders showed not only daytime sleepiness but also decreased intellectual performance, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Other symptoms include dizziness, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, eye strain, nausea, and irritability.

Read Also: How to get a good night’s sleep on a tropical night?

How long does jet lag last? Even if the peak is 2-3 days after arrival

Jet lag didn’t exist when people traveled by train and ship. In English, jet lag is called jet lag, and it’s a relatively new problem since we’ve been able to travel the world on jet planes.

Why does jet lag occur? If you move to a place with a time difference at high speed, your body clock and the local time will be out of sync (external desynchronization ). In addition, the body temperature, hormone secretion, and sleep/wake rhythms, which are controlled by the body clock, become disjointed, exacerbating the symptoms ( internal desynchronization ). The symptoms of jet lag may seem to be strongest immediately after arriving at your destination, but in reality, it can be the worst on the second or third day. This is because external desynchronization is most severe immediately after arrival and resolves over time, whereas internal desynchronization peaks 2-3 days after arrival.

What causes jet lag? The difference between people who get jet lag and those who don’t

Surprisingly, in a survey of jet lag among pilots, nearly 90% of them suffered from some form of jet lag. However, on the other hand, less than 10% of people live their lives without feeling jet lag at all. Where is this difference? Four things are known to affect the symptoms of jet lag:

■ Morning people and night people Morning people
who are good at going to bed early and waking up early in the morning and whose activity peaks in the morning have stronger symptoms of jet lag than night people who oversleep and have a peak activity in the evening. increase. This is thought to be because the body clock of morning-type people is difficult to adapt to changes in their daily rhythms. ■Age Compared to younger people, middle-aged and older people experience sleep disturbance due to jet lag, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and their sleep efficiency decreases. Recovery from jet lag also slows down as you get older. ■Personality People who are nervous and introverted take time to recover from jet lag. Talking, playing, or working with people speeds up the adjustment of your biological clock. Introverts have fewer of these social conformizers than extroverts, which is why symptoms last longer. ■Flight direction Eastbound flights from Japan to Hawaii or the United States, westbound flights to Europe.


Is called. Since the human body clock has about 25 hours in a day, traveling eastward makes it difficult to adjust the body clock, and the symptoms of jet lag become stronger. Compared to that, it seems that symptoms are often mild on the westbound because it is easier to adjust the body clock.

It is said that the body clock can adjust the time difference for 1 hour a day eastbound and 1.5 hours for westbound.

Countermeasures against jet lag: What you can do before departure, on the plane, and on site

The key to getting rid of jet lag is to adjust your body clock to the local time as soon as possible. However, if you are only staying in Japan for a short period of time, such as 2-3 days, it will be easier for you to get back into the rhythm of your life if you stick to Japan time. Please be flexible.

■Things to prepare before departure
Lack of sleep increases the symptoms of jet lag. You will be busy before departure, but try to get as much sleep as possible by taking naps or taking microsleep . About a week before departure, try to go to bed early and wake up early on eastbound flights, and go to bed and wake up late on westbound flights. And it’s best to try to get closer to the local time around the departure date.

■How to spend time on the
plane On the plane, you will sleep according to the local time. If it’s night in your area, sleep, and wake up in the morning. Don’t forget to bring an eye mask and earplugs on board to prepare for sleep. It’s also a good idea to have a little alcohol when you can’t sleep. But don’t drink too much. Air pressure is low and there is little oxygen in an airplane, so you get sick faster than on the ground.

In order to stay awake, it is effective to take caffeine such as coffee. However, it should be noted that the action of caffeine may last 1 to 2 hours in young people and 5 hours or more in elderly people. In addition to keeping you awake, walking on the plane can also help prevent economy class syndrome. If you practice, please do so as not to disturb other people.

On international flights, meals are served according to the time of arrival. At this time, even a little is fine, so let’s eat. The gastrointestinal tract has a second body clock. This is because when you eat, your body clock adjusts to the local time. Also, don’t forget to rehydrate as the cabin is very dry. Being dehydrated makes jet lag worse. 

■Things to be careful about when you arrive at the site If you are
really sleepy after arriving during the day, take a nap for about 2-3 hours. Sleeping too long can have a negative impact on your sleep at night. Let’s do our best to wake up when the time comes, even if we are sleepy. When you wake up, go outside and expose yourself to sunlight to help your body clock adjust. If you go to the West Coast of the United States, it is best to soak up the sun from the afternoon on the day you arrive, around 10am on the second day, and after waking up in the morning on the third day.

If your flight arrives in the evening or later, try to sleep according to the local time. If you can’t sleep because you can’t sleep, take a lukewarm bath to relax, or drink a moderate amount of alcohol with dinner.

Taking a hot shower in the morning will help you wake up more easily. Hot water stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and prepares you for an active day.

Is there any medicine for jet lag? Sleeping pills, melatonin, B12, etc.

If you can’t change your sleep patterns while in Japan or have trouble adjusting on the plane, use medication as a last resort.

■Sleeping
pills If you take a sleeping pill with a short action time for the first 1-2 days, you will be able to secure enough sleep time, reduce daytime sleepiness, and improve performance. Triazolam, brotizolam, and clonazepam are effective. However, if you take alcohol with sleeping pills, you may experience temporary memory loss, so be careful.

■Melatonin Melatonin
, which is produced in the pineal gland in the brain, is also called the sleep hormone. In Japan, it is considered a medicine, so it cannot be purchased by the general public, but it is sold as a supplement in the United States and elsewhere. A dose of 1-3mg around 8-9pm local time will speed up the adjustment of your body clock and reduce the symptoms of jet lag.

■Vitamin B12
Strong light has the strongest effect on regulating the body clock, and vitamin B12 helps the action of light. Some researchers also believe that vitamin B12 directly affects your body clock and helps you sleep. In practice, 1.5 to 3.0 mg of methylcobalamin is taken orally in 3 divided doses a day.

Viagra Hamsters injected with 10 milligrams of Viagra
per kilogram of body weight recovered from jet lag in half the number of days compared to hamsters who were not injected. This may be because her Viagra hastened the resolution of jetlag by acting on the nerves that regulate the body clock.

Once you’ve decided to travel abroad, start taking measures against jet lag while you’re still in Japan. That way, you will not be disturbed by sleepiness or insomnia, and you should be able to enjoy a fulfilling life in a foreign country.