Vacation season is over. At the end of any vacation I am always thinking that I need another one. I guess it is because vacations are stressful. It’s surprising that something which is expected to help us to relax and bring us to a stress release environment carries such a strong pressure itself. Stress unwelcomely appeared at all stages such as planning, booking, packing….and, finally, jet lagging. It’s also funny, that being a travel addict, I passionately hate to pack. Don’t take me wrong – these days there are thousands of magazines and sites who suggest smart tips on packing and I read some of them. This is just something I always struggle with and probably always will. I can’t travel packed light, I refuse to follow those smart advice …So, vacations are stressful. At least for me. I like trip planning part though, because I enjoy reading and digging into travel sites and forums and prepare travel itinerary, find a gem hidden hotel, plan non-tourists paths, places to see, eat, drink, shop and visit in order to fully experience the depth of the travel location. Sometimes though I plan so scrupulously that even this became a torture, and I almost don’t enjoy the place when I come and finally see it. When you read so many reviews and saw pictures, you feel like you have already been there-right?. Huh, Stressful again. Well, among all travel discomforts, the jet lag is my favorite. I know people who fly over ocean crossing several time zones and felt fresh and energetic next morning. I know those people, but I am not one of them. I feel jet lag all over and any minutes of it. It takes me days (if not weeks) to recover, especially when I fly east.
According to Wikipedia jet lag previously classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders. It is medically referred to as desynchronosis and rarely circadian dysrhythmia, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on high-speed aircraft.
It’s a well-known fact that travelers flying north or south in the same time zone typically experience the fewest problems because the time of day always remains the same as in the place where the flight originated. Travelers flying east, typically experience the most problems because they “lose” time. For example, on an international flight from New York to Moscow, a traveler loses eight hours. All daily habits are pushed eight hours ahead. Travelers flying west “gain” time and usually have an easier time adjusting than eastward travelers.
Some people take melatonin to help to go through this not very exciting condition. In the U.S synthetic melatonin is classified. as a dietary supplement and you can easily buy it anywhere. A study in the British Medical Journal in 1989 reported that taking synthetic melatonin tablets can help travelers restore normal sleeping patterns. In that study, 20 volunteers traveling back and forth between New Zealand and England took daily doses of either 5 mg of melatonin or a placebo (a blank, or sugar pill) before, during, and after their flights. Those taking melatonin returned to their normal sleep patterns in 2.85 days on average compared with 4.15 days for those taking a placebo. I traveled between several countries this summer and I took melatonin, but I didn’t like it probably because I didn’t find a right dosage. However, upon my return I found a web site which probably can help some of you who also go through jet lag disaster. This is a free website which creates your individual a jet lag plan suggesting the best times for bright light exposure (e.g., sunlight) and melatonin. Hopefully, it works. I will try it next time. Please let me know if it worked. If you know any other great strategies to handle jet lag, please, share it too. Good night ya’ll for now-it’s getting dark here))