What is a jetlag and how to survive it?

Many often have to fly. On the one hand, movements on an airplane can be called quick and convenient, but, on the other hand, they are associated with certain risks and difficulties. For example, some people had to face at least once with a phenomenon like dzetlag. And what is it? And how to cope with it in a short time?

What is a jetlag?

How does this strange and unfamiliar word “jetlag” stand for? What is it?

This is a phenomenon characterized by the inconsistency of a person’s own rhythms with real daily rhythms and associated with the rapid and abrupt change of time zones when traveling by plane.

That is, the person flew out during the day or evening, and after reaching the final destination, he found himself in a completely unnatural time, for example, in the morning.

In general, the name consists of two words. The first “jet” is translated as “jet aircraft”, and the second “lag” in English means “lag”. This phenomenon has two other more common and understandable names: desynchronosis and desynchrony.


Why does the body react to the change of belts? There is such a thing as a “biological clock.” This is a complex and precise mechanism that is responsible for the regulation of all important processes in the human body, in particular wakefulness and sleep. Every morning a person wakes up, is engaged in routine business all day, with the onset of the evening starts to get tired, and at night falls asleep.

With a sharp change of time zones, the synchronization of the biological clock and their functioning are disrupted. The duration of the night and daylight varies, which is why it begins to differ greatly from the usual and normal. The body simply cannot understand how to behave, which leads to numerous failures.

Violated sleep, wakefulness and nourishment regimes, the process of thermoregulation, as well as the production of certain hormones. And it is precisely because of this that unpleasant symptoms arise.


The main manifestations of jetlag are as follows:

  • Reduced reaction rate.
  • Memory impairment
  • Disorientation, feeling of being lost in space and in time
  • Deterioration of coordination.
  • Irritability, apathy, increased nervous irritability, worsening of mood.
  • Fatigue, increased fatigue.
  • Insomnia, drowsiness, sleep disturbances.
  • Headaches, dizziness.
  • Indigestion: abdominal distension, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain.

It is worth noting that manifestations can vary from person to person. Thus, it is proved that women carry jetlag somewhat heavier than men, which is due to the impact of wakefulness and sleep on the hormonal background, as well as the greatest amount of hormones produced. In addition, it has been proven that young people are faced with desynchrony more often than the elderly, and also suffer it more acutely.

The severity of symptoms is more dependent not on the duration of the flight, but on the time difference at the points of arrival and departure. In addition, many are much harder to fly from west to east than in the opposite direction. And this is most likely due to the fact that later to go to bed and later to wake up much easier than before to lie down and before getting up (it will be quite difficult to fall asleep in this case).

As for the duration of the period of symptoms, it will depend on the individual characteristics of the organism and on the difference in time.One manages to recover in a day, while others experience discomfort for several days.

Is it dangerous?

In general, the jetlag is not a disease or a dangerous condition that threatens life or health. But still, if you do not begin to act on time and do not try to minimize the consequences of desynchrony, then you can face some troubles.

So, due to the reduction of the reaction speed, it can be difficult to drive a car, and this increases the risk of accidents. Due to deterioration of memory and a decrease in the ability to make deliberate decisions, problems often arise at work, for example, when concluding transactions, performing important tasks and responsible tasks.

How to cope?

How to deal with jetlag? It is advisable to start active before the flight, the correct preparation will help make the manifestations less pronounced and pronounced. But no less important is the behavior during the flight, as well as after it, that is, after arriving at the destination.

How to prepare for the flight?

Important rules for flight preparation:

  1. Sleep well and try not to get tired. But do not go to bed too early, just do it in time for the body to recover. If you sleep longer than usual, it can only aggravate the situation.First, you will feel frustrated, and secondly, you will not be able to fall asleep earlier in the place you go to, if necessary.
  2. Some advise, on the contrary, try to sleep as little as possible. For example, you can refrain from sleep for a day. This will make you very tired and quickly fall asleep in the airplane, as well as lie down before after arrival. But this method is not suitable for people suffering from cardiovascular and some chronic diseases, as well as autonomic disorders.
  3. If you are taking any medications, then check with your doctor in advance how best to take them after arrival.
  4. If your trip is purely working, and you have to perform professional duties, then make a clear plan in advance, and preferably for a few days. This will not overexert after arrival at the destination and not worry because you can forget something.
  5. You can arrange the so-called fasting day. Eat extremely light foods in minimum quantities, and drink as much water as possible.

During the flight

So, how to behave directly during the flight? Useful tips:

  1. Provide maximum comfort. Take with you a comfortable pillow, put on the most comfortable and loose clothing, give up cosmetics. You can also take a bandage on your eyes, slippers, warm socks and earplugs.
  2. During the flight, try to sleep, especially if you are heading east, and you have to lie down much later. If you do not get it, do not take sleeping pills, they worsen the condition and disrupt blood circulation. If you are flying west, you can just relax.
  3. If you can not relax, take a light sedative.
  4. It is advisable to transfer the clock already on the flight to quickly get used to the new time and adapt as soon as possible.
  5. In an airplane, try not to be in one position, this can lead to stagnation of blood and blood circulation disorders. Move all parts of the body, walk, warm up.
  6. Do not drink alcohol.
  7. Drink more water to avoid dehydration.

After flight

How to survive the jetlag after the flight, if its symptoms have already begun to manifest?

  1. Immediately after arrival, you can walk a little, it will help to relax, normalize blood circulation and get positive emotions.
  2. Do not try to remember how much time is in your home, just join in a new rhythm.
  3. Do not try to get a charge of vivacity with the help of coffee, it can provoke increased nervous excitability. Also energy drinks are contraindicated.
  4. Do not go to bed early, even if you really want it, it will delay the adaptation.
  5. In the first few days, try to avoid both mental and physical stress.
  6. More fresh air.
  7. Do not overeat and eat mostly light foods: vegetables, fruits, dairy products, lean fish, seafood.
  8. Swimming can help relax and rejuvenate.

Let jet lag be less painful! But for this, follow the recommendations given above.

loading ...