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Jet Lag After International Flights

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 27/07/2022

The first thing you need to know is — what is jet lag?

Jet lag is a temporary situation where you have insomnia and other health problems. It happens because of travelling across two time zones in a short period. Common jet lag symptoms include daytime fatigue, upset stomach, and headache.

Jet lag is a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder and is known as secondary circadian dysrhythmia. You face jet lag when the sleep-wake cycle of your geographical location is not in sync with your body's sleep cycle. Therefore, if your departure and arrival destinations are far apart and you travel from one time zone to another, you may experience jet lag.

It takes a little time for your body to adjust to the difference in time that you have travelled in a short span, but you can reduce the inconvenience by following a few simple tips.

Find out more about what causes jet lag and how to lessen its symptoms.

What are Circadian Rhythms?

While getting answers to what jet lag is, you must also know about circadian rhythms.

Circadian rhythms are the patterns your body follows based on a 24-hour cycle. These rhythms suggest your body its sleep-wake process. They also affect the body's other functionalities, including digestion, hormonal functions, and body temperature.  

Your body syncs with these rhythms by default. External factors like light can affect the circadian rhythm and cause trouble with your day-to-day lifestyle. For instance, when exposed to light, your eyes transmit messages to the brain to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that helps your body sleep. 

Now that you know the jet lag meaning, let us discuss jet lag medicine. Listed below are some tips to handle jet lag better. 

Schedule Your Sleep During the Flight 

You experience jet lag while travelling across two or more time zones. You can limit the effect of jet lag by scheduling your sleep during the flight. Jet lag symptoms can be reduced to quite an extent by planning your sleep based on the duration and direction of your journey. While travelling east, taking a nap during your flight is suggested. Whereas, if you fly west, try not taking a nap on the flight. 

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine stays in your body for a long duration after consumption. It makes it tough to fall asleep if you have caffeine in your system. Therefore, avoid consuming caffeine-rich food and beverages on the day of your flight. A no-sleep flight would leave you exhausted and fatigued when you arrive at your destination. Instead of caffeine-rich drinks and edibles, you must focus on drinking more water as it helps to induce sleep on the journey.  

Exposure to Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight is the best way to avoid jet lag and help your body clock adjust to the new time zone. Spending time outdoors in the morning sun is suggested if you have travelled to the east. Similarly, spend some time in the afternoon sun if you have travelled west. In addition, if you have layovers, try deboarding and spend some time outdoors underneath the clear sky. 

Avoid Alcoholic Beverages

While finding solutions to the question of how to get rid of jet lag, some of you might find it reliable to drink alcohol to help you get a sound sleep. However, the truth is that alcohol does not help get rid of jet lag. While at an elevated altitude, alcohol consumption leads to dehydration. Dehydration, in turn, might disrupt your sleep structure and lead to sleep apnea. 

Keep Your Sleep Accessories Handy

Exogenous factors like small seats, slight hypoxia, turbulence, dehydration, uncomfortable clothes, etc., can affect your sleep quality on board. Therefore, you must carry accessories that help you sleep better. Some handy accessories include eye masks, earplugs, a night suit, and a neck pillow that would help you sleep better.

Avoid Artificial Lighting

Light is essential in helping your body get in sync with the circadian rhythm. Therefore, you must avoid exposure to artificial lighting post-sunset at your new destination. This trick would help you with good sleep and allow you to adjust to the new time zone with utmost ease. As a precaution, you can use an eye mask to avoid light. In addition, keep your electronic gadgets at bay sometime before you tuck yourself in bed for a good night's sleep.

Get a Good Sleep a Night Before Travelling

You may lack sleep the night before travelling due to end-minute packing and other chores. Such negligence can offer enough jet lag symptoms to ruin a couple of days after arrival. Sudden alterations to your routine can make adjusting to the new location difficult. On the contrary, sleeping well a night before travelling can help you quickly recover from jet lag. 

Adjust Your Sleeping Schedule Before You Fly

If you have plans to fly east, try getting to bed an hour earlier, several nights before your departure date. Similarly, if you are planning to fly west, try sleeping an hour later than your regular time for a few days before departure. Slight alterations to your sleep cycle can help you manage jet lag better. 

Stick to Your New Schedule

Set your watch as per the new time zone before flying. Once you land at the destination, try not to get sleep until the local night hour. You might be tired, exhausted, and tempted to take a nap. But, try not doing it. Also, try to schedule your meals with the local timings.

How long does jet lag last?

Jet lag symptoms primarily occur within a few days if you have traversed across a minimum of two time zones. The more time zones you travel across, the worse are going to be the symptoms, and the lengthier would be the impact duration. Usually, it takes around a day to recover for every time zone you pass. 

Why Do You Need a Travel Insurance Plan?

Are you an overseas traveller? Below are five reasons you need travel insurance to enjoy a hassle-free trip.

  • It saves you from unforeseen medical expenses, which otherwise might affect your budget and bring you down to a financial crisis. 

  • You would have 24x7 assistance in unfamiliar territory to help you bridge the geographical constraints or language barriers whenever needed.

  • You would get coverage for your liabilities.

  • It covers travel-related emergencies like losing you, passport, or baggage.

  • Some countries mandate all visitors have travel insurance.



Following the simple tricks and rules above can help you quickly and conveniently recover from the symptoms of jet lag. You can also consider consulting a specialist if your day-to-day life involves ample travelling across time zones. In addition to this, having travel insurance in such a scenario enables you to safeguard your life and finances.

A comprehensive travel insurance plan can help you seamlessly sail through any emergency, even abroad. Make sure to compare travel insurance policies available in the market before you choose the one that suits your needs. You can also visit the Tata AIG website to book the ideal travel insurance policy to safeguard your trip.

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