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Nov 30, 2023

Dealing with Jet Lag: Symptoms and Solutions

When undertaking an international journey, some of the common things that one tends to pay close attention to are their passport, visa, tickets, travel insurancemedical needs, and any other necessary documentation. While these are some of the aspects that play a key role in helping you ensure a successful trip, there are some other factors that you should not neglect. One of the common elements that you ought to anticipate when travelling abroad is jet lag. Failure to account for this and prepare accordingly can lead to some unpleasant moments in your travels. 

Symptoms of Jet Lag

Commonly categorised as desynchronosis, ‘jet lag’ is a term that refers to the disturbances to the natural rhythm or internal clock of the body that commonly occur when you fly for long distances. Crossing time zones quickly can create these disturbances. Factors like dehydration, low cabin pressure, and low humidity, are some of the factors that may aggravate jet lag symptoms. The symptoms of jet lag are commonly short-lived. While not everyone is expected to experience them, it is best to stay prepared for them. Ensure that you take care of yourself, before, during, and after your journey, to start feeling better sooner. Here are some of the common jet lag symptoms to look out for.

￘ Headaches

￘ Insomnia

￘ Drowsiness

￘ Issues in concentration or focus

￘ Irritability, mood changes

￘ Fatigue

￘ Loss of appetite

￘ Upset stomach

In addition to all these symptoms, one may also feel “slightly off”, or find it difficult to be as energetic as they usually may be. Remember that one person may experience an entirely different set of symptoms as compared to another. Also, the longer the distance or the duration you have travelled, the more intense your jet lag symptoms may be. It is also believed that travelling eastward may result in worse jet lag as compared to travelling westward. It is said to be so because eastward travel runs in opposition to the body’s natural rhythm. 

Dealing With Jet Lag

Jet lag symptoms are not expected to last for long. However, it is better to have a few tricks up your sleeve that may help you alleviate the intensity of your symptoms, or make you feel better, faster. So, how to deal with jet lag? Here are a few ways that may work.

Work according to the new time zone

It may not serve you well to keep working in your old time zone. Adapting as quickly and efficiently as possible to your new time zone may help you deal with the discomfort brought about by jet lag. Try to fall asleep during the night and eat all your meals on time. More importantly, avoid falling asleep during the day.

Create a comfortable sleeping environment

Getting ample rest is necessary for your body to recover from the aftereffects of long-distance travel. Ensure that your sleep environment is comfortable and helps you feel relaxed. Ensure that there is little to no light in your sleeping environment. Make use of white noise, sleeping masks, pillows, and blankets, if necessary. You can also try to get sleep during your hours of travel that correspond with sleeping time in your new time zone. This may help you fall asleep better when you are in your new place.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is a contributing factor to exacerbating your jet lag symptoms. Ensure that you are drinking enough water throughout your journey and once you reach your destination. If you are travelling to a low-humidity or hot destination, you may also carry electrolytes, or buy them locally. 

Get daylight exposure

Being in the sunlight can help you adjust to the new time zone as well as deal with your jetlag symptoms better. During the daytime, if possible, step out in the sunlight. It might help you stay awake during the daytime which, in turn, might help you sleep better during the night. This may help realign your circadian rhythm and deal with symptoms brought about by jet lag. While jet lag symptoms may ease up in a few days for most people, some individuals may experience aggravated symptoms. Moreover, you may also be faced with other health issues or medical emergencies in a foreign land. Dealing with such health complications abroad may prove to be expensive. Hence, you should consider getting travel medical insurance  to cover your trip.* Travel policies are available for almost all destinations across the world. However, it is best to look for a type of policy that suits your needs rather than based on destination. For example, you may not find a Singapore travel insurance plan, but you may look for a plan that offers coverage for your destination and works best for you.*  * Standard T&C Apply Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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