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Home / Travel Health / Jet Lag

Jet Lag

The easiest way to define jet lag is the feeling of fatigue and confusion experienced after a long aeroplane journey. This sensation is usually enhanced when the journey has crossed many time zones, leaving the body unable to adjust.

Fortunately there are medications that can help you avoid jet lag. Circadin, for example, is a medication designed to help you fall asleep quicker and adjust to the time zone in the country you have arrived in.

You can order Circadin through 121doc without the need for a doctor's appointment. You can receive your order on the same working day for free in London and free next day delivery as standard for the rest of the UK, and all deliveries can be tailored to suit your specific needs. Simply fill in the relevant medical questionnaire and one of our fully qualified doctors can begin to process of sending your order immediately to make your travels less problematic.

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What Is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a temporary condition characterised by disrupted sleep, fatigue, and disorientation. It is caused by travelling through different time zones at a rapid pace.

What causes jet lag?

When you cross multiple time zones, you disrupt your body's circadian rhythm. Often referred to as your internal clock, your circadian rhythm regulates a roughly 24-hour cycle of physical, mental, and behavioural processes. It responds primarily to the pattern of light and darkness in your environment, and affects everything from digestion to blood pressure.

Your circadian rhythm helps to control when you wake up and when you fall asleep. When you travel across time zones, your circadian rhythm can't adjust as quickly as you've travelled. This causes jet lag, as your internal clock is still set to the time zone you came from, not the time zone you're currently in. Until your internal clock adjusts to its new time zone, you may be affected by the symptoms of jet lag.

What are the symptoms of jet lag?

Jet lag's main symptoms are excessive sleepiness, daytime fatigue, and a disturbed sleep pattern. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, disorientation, irritability, dizziness, headaches, and a general unwell feeling.

Symptoms may vary from person to person. They usually last no more than one or two days, but may last longer depending on how far you've travelled, how many time zones you've crossed, and what direction you've flown in. Dehydration, stress, and old age can also increase the likelihood and severity of jet lag.

How can I recover from jet lag?

Jet lag is not a serious condition, but it can make it difficult to adjust to your new destination. Several tips can help to speed up recovery, such as spending time outside in natural light or avoiding sleeping until the correct time, even if you are tired. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol during and immediately after travel can also help, as they may dehydrate the body and affect sleep patterns.

What medication treats jet lag?

Some travellers also find using a melatonin-based medication helpful. Melatonin is a natural hormone created by the brain's pineal gland. It helps to signal to your body that it is time to sleep, causing you to feel drowsy. When jet lag disrupts your body clock, it can also disrupt melatonin production. Melatonin-based medication makes up for this disruption and regulates your sleep pattern. This allows you to more easily adjust to your new routine after you've travelled.

121doc provides a popular melatonin-based medication called Circadin, which can be safely used long term, making it ideal for people who travel regularly. Circadin and other melatonin-based medications have very mild side effects, and are usually taken in small doses a couple hours before sleeping.

*The medical sources used for this article can be viewed on our legal page.

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