Nowadays, we live in a world where traveling seems to be nothing. However, a condition many suffer from is jet lag. It occurs when you travel across time zones. Jet lag is known as Desynchronosis medically, and it merely affects your internal body clock, physical health, or even your travel plans.
Jet lag is caused when airplanes are crossing time zones. We have 24 time zones around the world. The time zones in the US are divided into four zones which are eastern, central, Pacific and mountain. The body has a very hard time adjusting to new time zones. The adjustment is in stages. For example, if you are traveling from California to New York, your body still believes it is in the California time zone. The body's adjustment to these changes in time zone is what creates the symptoms associated with jet lag.
However, to fully understand jet lag we need to understand of how the body clock works. The human body clock operates on a 24-hour cycle which is known as a "circadian rhythm." This is performed by a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus (the brain's internal clock). It regulates many functions in the body including determining the time of day. This is not done alone by the hypothalamus but in conjunction with the visual perception of the eye. When traveling across timezones the indications are affected, which can result in jet lag.
Symptoms of jet lag include the inability to stay asleep, fall asleep, or stay awake during the day. Lack of sleep can make someone feel tense or tired – thereby making it hard to focus. You may lose your appetite thereby feeling weak. Inability to pass bowel (constipation) or diarrhea may be the next symptom of jet lag. The clear symptoms of jet lag are insomnia and fatigue. Some other lesser symptoms may include nausea, constipation, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and headaches.
Let's break down jet lag and how we can combat it to regain focus when traveling.
4 key points about jet lag (the what, where, why and how)
- Jet lag only occurs when you fly across one or more time zones. Some people may have to cross more than one times zone to notice jet lag. Jet lag becomes worse when you cross more and more time zones throughout a flight(s). Of course, having to sit around and deal with the anxiety of waiting and traveling can also put a bit more stress on the body and mind as well.
- Jet lag is bound to happen to anyone. Your fitness, health, age, and how regularly you fly are not a factor in whether you suffer from jet lag or not.
- People that fly from the west rather than east tend to suffer from jet lag more. For example, it will be worse when you fly from the United States to Europe than when you fly from Europe to the U.S.
- Jet lag is not serious but can make you feel sluggish. Most people recover from jetlag three to four days after their flight. Some may not feel much jet lag at all, depending on the distance, time and stress factors of the flight.
5 ways to regain focus when traveling
1. 🔍 Awareness – Taking a moment to think about what is about to happen is helpful (mostly with a calm mind). This means anticipating and planning for what will happen with jet lag. Knowing the time zone difference and where you will be in advance is the first step. Awareness not only influences the deliberate steps you will take but also the unconscious decisions you will be making along the way.
2. 🥕Eat Clean – Food is a key source of energy for the body and having a plan helps. One of the best practices should be to eat wherever you are even if you are not hungry. This means that you will be eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the right times and it also means that you will not be eating in the middle of the night (even if you are hungry at night). Healthy eating habit will help you regain focus very fast when you are suffering from jet lag.
3. 💤 Sleep – One of the most important parts of an anti-jet lag plan is the ability to sleep wherever you find yourself. Sleeping at certain times or staying awake at certain times takes planning and determination. You should be able to avoid mid-day naps once you have landed at all costs.
4. 🍃 Supplements
There are also supplements that can help you keep your brain on point or minimize the feeling of jet lag while traveling.
We believe the ingredients in ALTA Focus can help business travelers, executives, and entrepreneurs deal with jet lag and stay sharp mentally. Since you need to be "ready" when traveling for business, Focus is a great asset to any traveler that needs to stay sharp mentally. It can be used during trips to remain focused when you need to be, even if you are suffering from jet lag.
Magnesium, Green Tea Extract, DMAE Bitatrate and L-Tyrosine are just a few safe and effective ingredients that can help you with this.
Melatonin is one of the hormones generated in the body. It controls the cycle of sleeping and waking. Normally, the rate of melatonin decreases early in the morning, and its level begins to rise in the mid- to late evening, and it remains high for the most of the night. The use of melatonin pills may help reset your biological clock. It has been shown that melatonin can be very active in reducing the symptoms of jet lag. However, the times and dosages of usage vary among researchers and doctors recommend that you:
- Take melatonin late in the night on the day you travel and also late in the night for a few days after you arrive at your final destination
- Take melatonin in the evening before you fly for a few days especially if you will be flying east.
However, the effectiveness and safety of melatonin have not been comprehensively tested. This shows that taking large doses of melatonin may cause daytime fatigue and sleep disruption. If you are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin) or you have epilepsy, talk to your doctor first before you use melatonin.
The sleeping pills eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zolpidem (Ambien) have been studied for jet lag. You can even use these before bedtime after you arrive at your destination. You may have side effects of dizziness, confusion, headaches, and feeling sick to your stomach.
When it comes to traveling – jet lag is bound to happen, especially if you find the idea of flying stressful like many of us do. The anxiety of arriving early enough, making sure you didn’t forget any items or even the flight time, gate, etc. – it all adds up over time. Some have a fear of flying which also causes stress, so when you start adding all these things up it can cause you to be extremely fatigued by the time you arrive at your destination.
Give ALTA Focus a try and see how it can improve your energy, focus and mental stamina for your next trip, with or without jet lag!
Looking for some travel inspiration? Check out these instagram feeds to get lost in 👉.