If you’ve ever traveled in an east-west direction by plane then you have experienced jet lag, or if you prefer the scientific term, desynchronosis.
Many of our body’s systems and processes are governed by circadian rhythms. A circadian rhythm is a natural twenty four hour biological clock that resets certain physiological cycles for good health. Our sleep cycle is one example, and jet lag throws off this rhythm. Air travel causes us to move through time zones faster than we can adjust to the change. It creates a shortened or lengthened day, and also alters the light/dark cues we receive from daylight.
The Effects of Jet Lag
Typical symptoms of jet lag include daytime sleepiness, insomnia, repeated nighttime awakenings, headaches, lack of concentration, impaired judgment, and stomach discomfort, to name a few.