How to deal with sleep disorder associated with travel?

Travel lag sleep disorder (English: Jet lag) is a common temporary sleep disorder that affects people traveling while traveling across multiple time zones. For many years, it was believed that this disorder is just a state of mind, but studies have shown that the disorder of the weather condition is actually caused by an imbalance in the body’s biological clock as a result of traveling from one time zone to another.

The body’s biological clock is an internal system that works throughout the day to regulate the process of waking up and sleeping. The rhythm of this clock is regulated by a gland under the thalamus in our brains, in addition to external factors such as light and darkness . For example, when darkness darkens at night, the eyes send a signal to the gland under the thalamus to play its role To stimulate the pineal gland to secrete the hormone melatonin that would make you feel sleepy, which reaches its highest levels at midnight and whose concentration drops sharply in the blood during the day and when exposed to light.

From here we conclude that the biological clock   in our bodies coincides with the day and night cycle, so when traveling to a new time zone the traveler suffers from a temporary disruption in his sleep for several days because his biological clock is synchronized with the night and day cycle in his original time zone instead of the region that he traveled to, it may lead This is due to the traveler feeling sleepy during the day or the desire to stay awake when it is too late at night. This disorder usually lasts for several days until the biological clock has been able to reset its rhythm to match the day and night cycle in the new time zone.

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It is worth noting here that the biological clock works best when a person has regular sleep habits , meaning that the hours of sleep are at night and waking up in the morning at about the same time daily including weekends, so long flights, time changes or any event leads Delaying or waking up early hours of sleep may disrupt the circadian rhythm of a person.

Returning to the sleep disorder accompanying travel, the traveler usually suffers from a sleep disorder within a day or two of travel, and the severity of symptoms increases as time zones cross it, especially if the person is traveling east . It usually takes one day for the traveler to recover from each time zone that was crossed .

Symptoms and treatment of sleep disorder associated with travel

  1. Difficulty concentrating and carrying out the usual daily activities.
  2. Sleep disturbance, such as suffering from insomnia or severe sleepiness .
  3. Indigestion accompanied by diarrhea or constipation .
  4. Mood disorders and a sense of fatigue year.
  5. Headache and feeling heavy in the head .
  6. Dizziness, a feeling of tension and   general distress.
  7. Increased sweating and dehydration.
  8. The likelihood of a loss of memory temporarily when some.
  9. Irregular heartbeat .

Factors that increase the risk of travel disorder associated with travel

The more time zones traveled during travel, the greater the possibility of infection.

  1. Age , older people need a longer period to recover from the effects of travel disorder.
  2. Traveling east increases the severity of the disorder because the traveler thus loses time instead of gaining it when traveling west.
  3. Frequent and continuous travel , pilots and flight attendants are more likely to be affected.

Means to reduce the symptoms of travel disorder associated with sleep

It should be noted here that it is not possible to prevent the disorder associated with travel, but it is possible to mitigate its effects by following the following mentioned steps. It should also be noted that people who take drugs with strict and specific timescales , such as insulin or birth control pills, should consult and consult a doctor before they travel, as is the case for people who suffer from chronic diseases such as lung and heart diseases .

  1. Make sure you get enough sleep before the flight or else the symptoms will get worse.
  2. In the case of travel to the east , make  early sleep an hour and a few days before the date of travel. As for if you are traveling to the west , delay your sleep by an average of one hour per day and try to eat your meals at times close to their dates at the destination that you will travel to.
  3. Be sure to drink enough water during and after the trip, because dehydration can make symptoms worse.
  4. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol , because these beverages work as diuretics, leading to dehydration , as well as reduces the quality of sleep and increases the severity of fatigue.
  5. Control your exposure to sunlight, as we mentioned earlier, light is one of the main factors that affect the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which controls sleep, so if you are traveling west, make sure you are exposed to evening light , but if you travel east, make sure you are exposed to morning light .
  6. Do light sports during the day and avoid heavy sports before going to sleep, as this will make it more difficult to sleep.
  7. Adjust your watch according to the time zone you are traveling to as soon as you get on the plane.
  8.  Then sleep on board in the event of the time where you’re headed for the night , and declined to him in case the day time in the destination you are traveling to.
  9. Refrain from eating meals and fatty foods before bed.
  10. Melatonin pills, there are many studies that have researched the effectiveness of taking melatonin as a dietary supplement to reduce the broadest symptoms of travel disorder, and the latest studies have found that it may help to sleep in times when you are usually awake.
  11.  For example, if you are traveling east and want to reset your biological clock for a later time, you must take it at night, and if you are traveling west and want to reset your biological clock for earlier time, take melatonin during the day.
  12. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine drinks, as they may interfere with melatonin, which can cause you to feel nauseous and dizzy.