We have World Sleep Day – 16 March.
PLEASE READ OUR SUPERSONIC SLEEP ARTICLE BEFORE READING THIS ABOUT JET LAG.
We have World Sleep Day again and we have presented plenty to consider on this much needed topic.
Next – How is the Jet Lag business going these days?
Are our sleep patterns and rhythms linked to Jet Lag?
Are we sorted on this subject that affects most of us?
Are we bothered or does our holiday mode take over?
Do we just cope and try not to think about it?
Do we hate it but simply do nothing about it?
Do we moan and at the same time, just accept it?
Do we find ways to get over it with our apps and solutions?
Are our best efforts really working when it comes to Jet Lag?
What if we could put an END to all this Jet Lag stuff?
What if there is another way?
Are we ready to buckle up and make this presentation coming up a must read, well before the next flight?
Are we ready to make lifestyle changes that support us before, during and post flight?
Are we ready to do what it takes to knock out our ill choices and lock in what can support our body to deal with anything to do with Jet Lag?
Can we agree – whether we are coach class regular holiday travellers or the business top class having ‘all the extras’ seat – we all seem to have Jet Lag?
But what if our exhaustion, which underlies everything is simply not addressed and then with the flight and crazy time changes, we just get to feel the depth of that exhaustion more so than ever?
WHAT IF JET LAG IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO OUR SLEEP QUALITY?
What if our down time in the sun relaxing and chilling out just gives us the real signs of how exhausted we really are?
What if most of us have no idea about our internal clock and what is needed to have maximum vitality levels every single day?
What if we see flight time as a pain in the butt, as we cannot do much moving around and we are stuck in a tiny space being fed and offered drinks with a tiny screen to keep us entertained as we clock watch?
What if our lemonade budget means a champagne seat in the upper class is not on our radar this lifetime but we can’t stop wanting it?
What if those in the posh seats still suffer from Jet Lag, no matter how much money they pay for their flat-bed type seating?
What if any class seat on any type of flight is not going to change the fact we suffer with Jet Lag?
What if we need to look at how we are living in daily life and the choices we are making that are contributing to Jet Lag?
What if there are people out there, like the author of this blog who have zero Jet Lag, regardless of the distance of the flight?
What if there is another way to nail this, but it does require that word RESPONSIBILITY in the choices we make in everyday life?
Jet Lag – also called Time Zone Change Syndrome.
A sleep disorder that affects the body’s ability to determine when it is time to sleep and when it is time to stay awake.
Jet Lag now treated as a medical condition.
Affects millions of people every year. (1)
Jet Lag occurs when we travel quickly across multiple time zones.
Disruption of body’s internal clock – circadian rhythm.
Disturbs our body’s sleep wake natural cycle.
Body’s internal clock is out of sync with local time.
Can remain on original biological schedule for several days.
Direction of travel can affect length of Jet Lag.
Direction of travel can affect which symptoms are experienced.
Travel west experience morning awakenings.
Travel east difficulty falling asleep lasting for longer period.
Severity Jet Lag related to number of time zones crossed.
Symptoms associated with Jet Lag include –
Difficulty staying alert
General sickly feeling
Unwell feeling (1)
Are we ALL just going to accept that this is the way it is because we have read it and these guys are the experts, so they must be right and have all the answers?
Are we going to at least stop and question this as it may not all be true or relevant to us?
Have they omitted something big which most of us suffer with – EXHAUSTION?
Can we admit that we got on the flight with our Exhaustion nicely tucked away with lots of snacks, airport delights from the plethora of eating places at the terminal and our alcoholic beverages, to get us into the spirit of the flying experience?
Could it be possible that the majority of our world suffer from Exhaustion at varying levels and so it becomes a ‘blind spot’?
In other words we cannot write about something or make claims and statements if we have something going on inside us that is unaddressed and in this case we are talking about Exhaustion?
Could it be possible we had ‘daytime fatigue’ everyday leading up to the flight, but we dealt with it in our usual ways, so we could function and get through?
Could it be possible our daytime fatigue has been there a long time and a real word for it could be that we actually have unaddressed EXHAUSTION but we have never admitted that?
Could it be possible the general sickly feeling and feeling unwell are both a direct result of our choices that we keep making day in and day out?
In other words, we know early nights and sensible eating would make a difference, yet we keep choosing the boozy late nights, Internet shopping, Social Media connection, TV or whatever we do to stop getting to bed early and to do that, we eat and drink everything our body does not want.
Could it be possible that our difficulty staying alert was there from day dot but it never got addressed because we had our daily caffeine fix?
Could it be possible our gastro problems are highlighted even more, because we go into excess mode as we forget real life when we are in flying mode?
Could it be possible that we eat food that we would not normally eat because of the boredom we experience on flights?
Could it be possible that our body actually needs less munching time during a flight, as it simply cannot cope with all the extras that we choose to shove inside it?
Could it be possible all those snacks, ice cream and sweets they dish out during the flight upsets our stomach?
Could it be possible that the optional extra alcohol drinks before, during and after an in-flight meal are deeply disturbing to our body because alcohol is a poison?
Could it be possible that when we choose poison as our main liquid intake on a flight we are going to experience gastrointestinal problems?
Could it be possible that we started on the booze well before take-off and even arrival at the airport, as that’s how we chose to go into flying mode?
Could it be possible that our work is super stressy and we use the business class seat to indulge and forget what is coming the other end with more stress?
Could it be possible that we pay extra for our seat, as we want to experience a deeper indulgence of comfort and hope it will do the job for us?
Could it be possible that we never bother to prepare our body for a flight and hope we can wing it on the journey? – pun intended.
Could it be possible that there is a way – another way to live, so that our body is equipped to deal with any time zones and frequent flying with zero Jet Lag?
Epidemiology: Jet Lag
An extremely common sleep disorder, affects millions of people every day, travelling for business and pleasure.
People suffering from sleep deprivation or insomnia likely experience Jet Lag at a higher degree of intensity. (2)
For us on the street who may not know that long word – Epidemiology is the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health.
So it means these are the kingpins telling us, so we better pay attention here.
Let’s join the dots and use a dose of common sense.
How many of us – if we are being totally honest, could admit that we have sleep issues, could do with more sleep when we have to get up, rely on alarm clocks and/or have no real quality with our sleep?
So could it be possible that most of us, at varying levels fit into that big section called ‘sleep deprivation’?
So let us hypothesise here and say anyone with sleep issues and no consistent true sleep rhythm is going to experience Jet Lag at a higher degree and intensity.
In other words, if we are living daily life making choices that do not support our natural sleep and wake cycle, then we can expect adverse intense reactions from our body during flights, which we accept and call Jet Lag.
Is this making sense?
Circadian Desynchrony – another name for Jet Lag. (3)
The body’s internal circadian clock is unable to adapt rapidly to the swift change in local time cues (for example sunrise, sunset, light and dark) after a flight across several time zones.
Our ability to sleep, stay alert, perform different tasks and digest our food is best when the internal clock is correctly aligned with local time.
For example, sleep is best taken when the internal clock is in ‘night mode’. It is thought that our inability to rapidly adapt to new time zones may be linked to the hormone Melatonin, which is released in high levels during the night when we sleep and lower levels during the day.
Circadian Desynchrony is a temporary form of circadian rhythm disorder and as such, any persistent sleep problems may be diagnosed in the same way as this disorder. (3)
Symptoms of Jet Lag
Loss of Appetite
Disorientation is also contributed to by the travel to exotic locations with various customs, foods, air quality, smells and is otherwise known as a ‘culture shock’. (4)
Jet Lag can be associated with Bloating, Constipation and Diarrhoea. (5)
What is the World Health Organization telling us about Jet Lag?
Jet Lag is the term used for the symptoms caused by the disruption of the body’s “internal clock” and the approximate 24 hour (circadian) rhythms it controls.
Disruption occurs when crossing multiple time zones, i.e. when flying east to west or west to east.
Jet Lag may lead to
Difficulty in sleeping at night
Disturbance of bowel function
Reduced physical and mental performance
Tiredness caused by journey itself
Jet Lag symptoms gradually wear off as the body adapts to the new time zone.
Jet Lag cannot be prevented but there are general measures of reducing its effects –
Be well rested before departure.
Use any opportunity to rest during medium to long-haul flights.
Short naps (less than 40mins) can be helpful.
Eat light meals.
Limit consumption of Alcohol.
Alcohol increases urine output, with the result that sleep may be disturbed by the need to urinate.
While it can accelerate the onset of sleep, alcohol impairs the quality of sleep, making it less restful.
The after-effects of excessive consumption of alcohol can exacerbate the effects of Jet Lag and travel fatigue. Alcohol should therefore be consumed in moderation, if at all, before and during the flight.
World Health Organization (6)
What Happens to our Body when we Drink Alcohol on the Plane?
During a flight, the barometric pressure in the cabin of a plane is lower than it is in most places on earth. You can compare it with an altitude in the mountains of between 1,800 and 2,200 metres.
This decreased pressure environment diminishes the body’s ability to absorb oxygen and it can produce light-headedness. We call this Hypoxia.
Generally speaking, this is not an issue but the feeling could be similar to the experience we have after drinking alcohol.
Therefore, if we drink alcohol during a flight, we may notice it sooner if we drink too much.
Due to the lower level of oxygen in the blood, we may seem more drunk in the air, than we would on the ground, after consuming the same amount of alcohol.
In fact, our BAC – blood alcohol content will show the same percentage as would be the case if we drank the same amount of alcohol on the ground under similar circumstances.
A complicating factor is that the air in an aircraft is very dry and coupled with the diuretic effect of drinking alcohol, we become dehydrated much faster than we would on the ground.
Minimise intake of salty food as this may have an adverse effect by making us more thirsty and encouraging drinking at a faster rate. (7)
The health benefits of drinking alcohol on a plane are non-existent. (8)
50% increase in number of passengers arrested for drunken behaviour on flights or at UK airports. (9)
What is really going on?
Are we pretending or do we know that we are not the same once we drink alcohol?
Are we aware that Alcohol is a scientific proven poison which means it is not for human consumption?
Are we not bothered or think it is all just a laugh when it comes to drunk behaviour?
Are we ok if society keeps finding excuses to keep alcohol legal as it suits us?
Are we really ok with our kids picking up our alcohol behaviour habits?
Are our airports safe now, if there is such a big increase in the number of passengers being arrested for behaviour under the influence of alcohol?
Back to World Health Organization –
Caffeine should be limited to normal amounts and avoided within 4-6 hours of an expected period of sleep.
If coffee is drunk during the daytime, small amounts every 2 hours or so are preferable to a single large cup.
Sleep – At destination, try to create the right conditions when preparing for sleep and get as much sleep in as normal in the 24 hour after arrival.
A minimum block of 4 hour sleep during the local night – known as “anchor sleep” – is thought to be necessary to allow the body’s internal clock to adapt to the new time zone.
If possible, make up the total sleep time by taking naps during the day in response to feelings of sleepiness. When taking a nap during the day, eyeshades and earplugs may help.
Exercise during the day may help to promote a good night’s sleep but avoid strenuous exercise within 2 hours of trying to sleep.
The cycle of light and dark is one of the most important factors in setting the body’s internal clock.
A well-timed exposure to daylight, preferably bright sunlight, at the destination will usually help adaptation. When flying west, exposure to daylight in the evening and avoidance in the morning (e.g. by using eye shades or dark glasses) may be helpful; flying east, exposure to light in the morning and avoidance in the evening are to be recommended.
Short-acting sleeping pills may be helpful. They should be used only in accordance with medical advice and should not normally be taken during the flight, as they may increase immobility and therefore the risk of developing DVT. (6)
DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body – usually in the leg.
Symptoms of DVT
Pain, swelling and tenderness usually in calf.
Heavy ache in the affected area.
Warm skin in the area of the clot.
Red skin – back of leg under knee.
Usually affects one leg.
Pain may worsen if foot bent upwards towards knee.
1 in 10 people with DVT develop a Pulmonary Embolism.
A serious condition that causes Breathlessness, Chest Pain and Sudden Collapse.
Both DVT and Pulmonary Embolism require urgent investigation and treatment.
Being inactive for long periods – such as a flight, after surgery or other long travel journey, without much movement, can cause DVT. (10)
Trying to adjust to local time for short trips of up to 2-3 days may not be the best coping strategy, because the body clock may not have an opportunity to synchronize to the new time zone and re-synchronization to the home time zone may be delayed after the return flight.
If in doubt, seek specialist travel medicine advice.
Individuals react in different ways to time zone changes.
Frequent flyers should learn how their own bodies respond and adopt habits accordingly.
Advice from a travel medicine clinic may help in formulating an effective coping strategy. (6)
So here we have the big kingpins in the World of Health telling us about Jet Lag.
Let us start with the list of what Jet Lag may lead to with a dose of common sense.
Could it be possible that because our body is going to be sitting around in un-natural conditions, it means we do not need to scoff food like it is our last meal, before or during the flight, but instead be sensible about what we eat?
Could it be possible that the indigestion may simply be a result of the food we munch, watching the screen in front of us, just to pass the time?
Could it be possible our bowels are not going to be in sync with changes in time zones, so best to keep them clear by not overeating or indulging in any foods that our body does not need?
Could it be possible that all the treats and sweet desserts are not necessary for our flight and just add to the clogging up in our bowels?
Could it be possible the ‘general malaise’ we feel comes from the ill choices we make before and during the flight, such as boozing as we are in travel mode, indulging in extra treats and ignoring how exhausted we are and so we just keep that screen going, as there are heaps of movies to watch?
Could it be possible that the ‘daytime sleepiness’ is a direct result of not preparing for the flight in anyway?
In other words, not having any early nights, not taking deep care of our body or planning our journey in a way that supports our body to the max?
Could it be possible that ‘difficulty in sleeping at night’ is because we always stay up late and then when we are on the jumbo jet we continue our ill habits of not going to sleep?
Could it be possible that when we feel tired during the flight, we opt for the extra glass of wine or spirit, or that ice cream which they pass around in between meals and snacks?
Could it be possible that our sleep is out of whack before we even get on the flight and then it just gets worse with all the travelling, time zone changes and flight back?
Could it be possible that our physical and mental performance is reduced because we have made the choice to veg out and chillax, with little movement and that means our mind and body is checked out?
In other words, we are not plugged in and connected to our body and our mind is doing what it wants and our body is copping the consequences of those choices, like drinking alcohol during a flight?
Hello – we are told that Jet Lag cannot be prevented.
So do we just accept that statement as the bigwigs of World Health tell us?
What if we can make choices to our way of living that can end Jet Lag?
Next – we are told to limit our alcohol consumption.
What does that mean exactly?
Do we set different limits to suit us?
Can we be making sensible decisions for what is good for us and what is not, under the influence of a scientific proven poison that we call alcohol?
Can we be honest enough to admit that alcohol alters our natural state and that means NO amount of alcohol is helping us in anyway?
We are told that alcohol impairs the quality of our sleep and also that it should be consumed in moderation, if at all before and during flight.
Is this making any sense?
WHY are there no clear guidelines and why is this all a bit flaky?
Are those who write this stuff ‘drinking alcohol in moderation’?
Is it possible to limit our drink with one glass, on a long haul flight, bored to kingdom come, with no connection to purpose and no real Commitment to Life?
Is it possible to ignore the rules and get ready for our duty-free booze in our bag?
Why do we need excess drink to forget the time zones and get through our inflight boredom, just because we are in holiday mode?
Are we really going to Google and check websites giving us sensible guidelines about Jet Lag?
Are we going to take it that everyone suffers with this stuff, so we may as well get used to it?
The American Sleep Association have a chart with the Leonardo Da Vinci Universal Man in the middle – check it out on this link
The bit that sticks out is 9pm when Melatonin secretion starts.
This 9pm going to bed business is mentioned in our sleep blog and the value and importance of how this can support our body.
Circadian rhythms are generated within the hypothalamus.
The circadian “clock” resides within the hypothalamus in an area known as the SCN – suprachiasmatic nucleus.
Using the daily cycle of light and dark, the SCN creates and maintains a daily cycle.
Certain hormones are released at specific times of the day.
In the late afternoon and early evening, hormones are released that prepare the body for sleep. During the early hours of the morning, the body starts to prepare for waking and activity.
Information regarding light levels is passed from the SCN on to the pineal gland.
The pineal gland, deep in the centre of the brain responds and releases Melatonin at night.
Conversely, the release of Melatonin is suppressed during daylight.
Even when our human body is kept away from ALL external light sources and time references, the body maintains a near perfect rhythm, typically relaxing into a natural rhythm of 24 hours and 11 minutes. (11)
PLEASE RE-READ THE ABOVE.
The fact that it makes no difference if our body has light, no light, clock, no clock –
OUR BODY JUST KNOWS AND MAINTAINS A NATURAL PERFECT RHYTHM.
Is this confirmation that our body has an Intelligence that us humans have not yet realised in full?
Is this the simple evidence we need to pay attention to, as it tells us we do not have to be affected by Jet Lag?
Back to Melatonin –
Melatonin supplements are available in some countries.
It is normally sold as a food supplement and therefore is not subject to the same strict control as medications (for example, it has not been approved for use as a medication in the United States but can be sold as a food supplement).
The timing and effective dosage of Melatonin have not been fully evaluated and its side-effects, particularly in the long-term use, are unknown.
Manufacturing methods are not standardized: the dose per tablet can vary considerably and some harmful compounds may be present.
For these reasons, Melatonin cannot be recommended. (6)
What if these supplements are not doing the job and are harmfull which is WHY it cannot be approved as a medication?
What if we do not need a false way to sort out our internal body clock because it knows its job and all we need to do is pay attention to our sleep and wake cycle and the melatonin will be released in its natural order and rhythm?
The American Sleep Association is saying –
The body will take one day per time zone crossed to fully recover and adjust to the changes.
This can vary, sometimes drastically, between individuals though, as some people can suffer severe, debilitating Jet Lag. (4)
Jet Lag can be further aggravated by other factors.
Many experience feelings of anxiety or nervousness when travelling and this can worsen Jet Lag.
Dry air in flight can be hard on those who are used to humid environments and may cause sore throat or headaches.
Maintaining proper hydration during travel is important, so drinking water is advised.
Drinking alcohol either just before or during a flight is not wise.
93% of all travellers will experience Jet Lag at some point. (4)
Older people suffer more than younger travellers. (3)
$470,000,000,000 – Global Jet Lag Therapy Market in 2016.
$730,000,000,000 – Estimate market will grow by 2023. (12)
So where is all this going?
WHY is this ‘therapy’ not cutting it?
WHY are we choosing to spend billions and billions of bucks on something that has not worked so far to end our Jet Lag agony and misery?
Can we just sit back and accept that this is how it is for every flight, or can we stop and ponder on the possibility – Is There Another Way?
More Business Travel – linked to Anxiety, Depression & Health Risks
New study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine finds that people who travel for business two weeks or more each month, report symptoms of Anxiety and Depression.
They are more likely to smoke, be sedentary, report trouble sleeping than those who travel one to six nights a month.
Among those who consume alcohol, extensive business travel is associated with symptoms of alcohol dependence.
Research from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and City University of New York (13)
Investigators found a link between poor behavioural and mental health outcomes and number of nights away from home.
This is one of the first studies to report the effects of business travel on non-infectious disease health risks.
503 million person-business trips in 2016. (13)
“Although business travel can be seen as a job benefit and can lead to occupational advancement, there is a growing literature showing that extensive business travel is associated with risk of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle factors.
The field of occupational travel medicine needs to expand beyond its current focus…to the behavioural and mental health consequences of business travel…
Employers and employees should consider new approaches to improve employee health during business trips that go beyond the typical travel health practice of providing immunizations and medical evacuation services.”
Andrew Rundle, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Mailman School of Public Health. (13)
Earlier studies by Professor Rundle found a link between Extensive Business Travel and Obesity and High Blood Pressure. (14)
Dear Dear World
After reading this, it is clear that our sleep rhythm requires our utmost attention if we want to END Jet Lag symptoms.
We spend all this money and find ways to get through it, but in Truth most of us have not nailed it when it comes to Jet Lag.
This blog is presenting another way, but it does require lifestyle changes and some genuine deep regard for our precious body – way before the flight starts.
It then starts a foundation of Living in a way, that truly supports our body, day in and day out and does not allow our mind to override, run the show and ignore what our body is communicating.
Nothing seems to be working, so maybe this blog and this website are well worth considering now.
(1) (n.d). Jet Lag. National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP). Retrieved March 14, 2018 from http://www.namcp.org/sleepdisorders/practicingdocs/html/disorders/jetlag/jetlag.html
(2) (n.d). Epidemiology. National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP). Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(3) (2016, December). Jet Lag. You and Your Hormones. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(4) (n.d). Jet Lag. American Sleep Association (ASA). Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(5) (2017, August 10). Jet Lag. NHS Choices. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(6) (n.d). Jet Lag. World Health Organization. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(7) Aaftink, D. (2017, June 30). What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Alcohol on a Plane? KLM. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(8) (2016, September 13). You Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol on a Plane. Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(9) Sharma, S. (2017, August 14). What Are the Rules for Drinking on Planes – and How Much Can You Have? Chronicle Live. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(10) (2016, April 27). Deep Vein Thrombosis. NHS Choices. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(11) Carter, A. (2017, October 1). Melatonin: What Does It Do? Medical News Today. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(12) (n.d). Global Jet Lag Therapy Market Size in 2016 and a Forecast for 2023 (in million U.S. dollars). Statista. Retrieved March 15, 2018 from
(13) Nauert, R. (n.d). More Business Travel Tied to More Signs of Anxiety & Depression, Health Risks. Psych Central. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from
(14) Martin, H. (2018, January 13). Too Much Business Travel Can Lead to Depression, Anxiety and Trouble Sleeping, Study Says. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 14, 2018 from