Manual for jet lag: how to quickly adapt to the new time...

Manual for jet lag: how to quickly adapt to the new time zone


If you travel frequently, you know what it is – to change the time zone and suffer from jet lag. This problem is quite predictable, but of no less furious. It can not be ruled out entirely, but you can reduce the time it takes the body to adapt. And here are some tips on how to do it.

Reasons jet lag

Jet lag – a series of symptoms that occur when your body’s natural clock shot down.

Biological clocks are determined suprahiazmalnym core group of cells in the hypothalamus. These cells act differently at different times of day, and thanks to them we understand when it is time for sleep or wakefulness. Also, they define our blood pressure, mood and appetite.

One of the strongest stimulus that sets the rhythm of the body – it is the light, so that our watches are subject position of the sun.

Dr. Smith L. Johnston, head of NASA’s research team, said that when a person changes one time zone, it takes about a day to the body used to the new conditions.

This would explain why the unpleasant symptoms Jet lag last few days. After all, if you have crossed several time zones, the body needs more time to adapt.

Relatively recently been found yet another reason long-term adaptation to the new conditions. Researcher Stuart Pearson and his colleagues conducted experiments on mice: rodent placed in simulated conditions “jet lag” and watched the level of genes in brain cells.

During this study, the protein was detected SIK1, which depends on the duration of the adaptation. In response to the light level, the body produces “per diem” genes and protein SIK1 suppresses them, stopping trim body rhythms under the new time zone.

When this protein is not activated, the mouse very quickly get used to the new time zone. Perhaps, SIK1 we need to stabilize the internal rhythms and do not shoot them moonlight and artificial lighting. In any case, because of him for so long our body gets used to the new time zone.

How Jet lag affects us

Now we know, because of what it appears, but how does it affect us? He really is so terrible, and whether it is necessary to deal with it?

If you ask this question, you have never suffered from serious Jet lag In general, the symptoms include fatigue, confusion and lack of awareness. Imagine that these symptoms last a few days and you have to deal with mental and emotional adaptation to the new environment.

More Jet lag slows the growth of neurons in the brain, reduces the ability to learn and impairs memory and causes general stress. It seems reason enough to fight this phenomenon and try as quickly as possible to adapt to the new conditions.

How to deal with Jet lag

If you do not want to go through Jet lag symptoms, there is only one way to avoid its symptoms: adapt quickly. Here are a few techniques that will help to do it.

Adjust the schedule prior to departure

A few days before departure adjust your schedule so that it coincides with the place of arrival. For example, if there where you are going, night comes two hours earlier, try to go home even earlier for 1.5-2 hours. So upon arrival at the place you will be much easier to adjust.

Helen Burgess, director of the research laboratory of biological rhythms in the Medical University, tried to change his schedule to travel from Chicago to Egypt.Within a few days before departure she went to bed and woke up an hour earlier than usual, took low doses of melatonin in the evening and in the morning trying to be in bright light. As a result, on arrival in Egypt, she adapted much easier and faster.

Track lighting level

Dr. Smith L. Johnston argues that the light control – this is the best that can be done to prevent Jet lag.

It is important to choose the right lighting at different times of day, for example, if you are traveling to the east, you need to be more on the light in the morning and try to avoid light in the evenings, when the west – on the contrary.

If you think that the light control is too difficult, you can download a special app for iOS , developed by the University of Michigan to help travelers.

For calculations of the mathematical methods used, and the application recommends the light level at different times of the day to help you quickly adapt.

Take melatonin

Can first consult a doctor, although small doses of melatonin is not harmful to health. Melatonin – a natural hormone that is produced in the body to regulate circadian rhythms and promotes sleep.

Studies have shown that only 5 g of melatonin at night to help more quickly adapt to the new time zone.

Take small doses of melatonin before going to sleep every night, and your internal clock quickly adjust. If you are traveling west, take melatonin better in the second half of the night.

Stay home time

If your trip is short enough, no more than three days, it is better not to adapt to a different time and continue to live as they are used to at home.

Three days – too short time to worry about the local time, because as soon as you pass through Jet lag, have to get used again, now to the home time. So you’d better continue to live the way they are used to in their time zone.

I hope these tips will help you to quickly deal with drowsiness, loss of appetite and other annoying symptoms.