Jetlag… the fight after a long flight

04 Jun Jetlag… the fight after a long flight

Jennifer Wong from ABC Life recently published a nice, easy to read article on jetlag. She spoke with Sleep Health Foundation chair Professor Dorothy Bruck on this topic.

See the full article here:

They discuss how long haul travel can be fatiguing, coupled with the disruption of arriving in a new time zone while your body is set to your previous time zone. They discuss some coping strategies eg: sleep hygiene, exercise and pharmacological considerations (coffee and sedatives), also the role that Melatonin plays here.

Jennifer also lists the Sleep Health Foundation recommendations for trying to minimise the effects of jet lag:

  • For short trips of only a day or two, stay on home time
  • For longer trips of three days or more, change your time as soon as possible
  • Give yourself time. Adjusting to a new time zone usually takes two or three days
  • Take short naps, no longer than 30 minutes. And if you’re napping, try to be awake for at least 4 hours before bedtime
  • Caffeine may be helpful, but don’t overdo it. Don’t have tea or coffee for at least two hours before bed
  • Alcohol is not the solution. Although it may help you to get off to sleep, you will not sleep as well during the night
  • Minimise the use of sedatives and sleeping tablets. They can become a habit, giving you more problems than temporary jet lag
  • Go outside. Sunlight is important to help your body adjust to the new time zone
  • Do some exercise. This will help reset your body clock, especially when done during daylight hours and not too close to bedtime.

Some airlines have considered adding blue light to interior of their planes to help their passengers adjust to the new time zones. Melatonin production is most responsive to blue light.