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Travel sleep secrets

06-03-2012

Long distance travel and sleep are generally seen as enemies, one will rob you of the other. Jet lag, as it is commonly known, or desynchronosis, as the medical fraternity call it, is an affliction of the modern age. It occurs when we travel rapidly from west to east or east to west and force our body to quickly adapt to a new time zone.

Our body’s have a natural circadian rhythm that matches the external conditions. When it is light we are awake and when it is dark we get tired. When we move quickly from one time zone to another, it throws that circadian rhythm and forces the body to adapt.

While there are no magic solutions to jet lag, there are a few ways of ameliorating it. One that requires some forethought is to gradually adapt to your new time zone before you leave, slowly adjusting your watch and your body clock to your destination.

It is also helpful to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on the plane as both of these disrupt the sleep cycle.
If you are flying extreme long distance, then it might pay to break the trip up with an overnight stay half way.

Once you have arrived, you need to expose yourself to natural light as much as possible to help your body adjust.


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