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Frequent Fliers Can Learn To Live With Jet Lag

Aug 21, 2008
Dealing with jet lag is quite simple for people who only fly once in a while, perhaps just a couple of times a year on vacation or for the odd business trip, but for aircrews and regular long-haul fliers, jet lag frequently brings in its wake several health problems that can become more or less permanent.

Long-haul travelers will be familiar with the disturbance to their sleep pattern and the insomnia which can result from a long trip, in addition to such things as changes in mood, irritability, stomach problems and difficulty in dealing with information. But, for the very frequent flier these often transient symptoms become a part of everyday life and are frequently joined by menstrual cycle problems for women and even by short-term psychiatric problems for a number of individuals.

The main factors that influence the degree of jet lag that you experience, aside from the frequency of travel, are the distances involved, the direction of travel and your age.

If you are regularly traveling across just two or three world time zones then any affects will probably be very mild. But, as soon as you start to cross more than three world time zones, and particularly when you get up to frequently traveling over six or more time zones, jet lag symptoms start to increase significantly.

The symptoms of jet lag are also far more marked if you travel east and tend to affect you less when flying west. For example, if you travel from London to Singapore on vacation you will experience greater jet lag on arrival in Singapore at the start of your holiday than you will in London when you return home.

Generally when you fly east you can expect that jet lag will last for several days and a good guide is roughly two thirds of the number of time zones traveled across. For instance, if you fly across six time zones you might expect jet lag to affect you for approximately four days. When flying west jet lag should be expected to last about half this time.

Age is also an important factor when it comes to jet lag and, as you age, you will find that you are increasingly affected by jet lag.

A true jet lag cure does not exist but there is a lot that can be done to assist in reducing the symptoms of jet lag.
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