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How a Simple Regime Can Help You Cope With Jet Lag
Returning from a long flight can leave you feeling tired and disoriented. This disruption of your internal clock and disruption of circadian rhythms can make you feel queasy and often means stomach upset because the body’s hunger cycle is out of sync with the meal. time. It also usually means that your memory is less than reliable, which most of us attribute to a combination of jet lag and fatigue, but chronic jet lag seems to alter the brain in ways that cause memory and learning problems long after you arrive. return. Knowing this effect on your body can help you plan your recovery time and reduce the level of stress and anxiety you may experience when you forget to order milk or what your own last name is.
Each of us has an internal 24-hour clock that drives our circadian rhythm, which is reset every day in small amounts. When a person enters a time zone that is out of sync with their internal clock, it takes much longer to reset that daily rhythm, causing jet lag until the internal clock is resynchronized. If you are a frequent traveler, unlike occasional travelers who recover within days, the risks are much greater and include reduced reaction times, higher incidence of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and decreased fertility. The World Health Organization actually lists shift work as carcinogenic knowing that it is beneficial to be proactive in health care and also reduce all other known cancer risks.
Research by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley investigated the effects of continuous jet lag by exposing female Syrian hamsters to six-hour jet lags – the equivalent of a New York-Paris plane flight . If you’re wondering (and why not) why female and Syrian, it’s because their body rhythms are so precise that they will produce eggs, or ovulate, every 96 hours within a window of a few minutes. It’s nice to know that the hamsters have at least a reliable monthly pattern, but why they didn’t just ask the crews for frequent flights is a mystery, but I’m no scientist – thank goodness.
During the last two weeks of jet lag and one month after its recovery, the hamsters’ performance on learning and memory tasks was measured and, as expected, during the jet lag period, they struggled to learn simple tasks that the hamsters in the control group had no difficulty with. What surprised the researchers was that these deficits persisted for a month after the hamsters returned to a regular day-night schedule.
The real finding was that jet lag caused persistent changes in the brain, specifically in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a complex role in memory processing. Compared to hamsters in the control group, jet lag hamsters had only half the number of new neurons in the hippocampus after a month’s exposure to jet lag. This is important because new neurons are constantly being added to the adult hippocampus and are thought to be important for specific types of learning, and memory problems are associated with decreased cell maturation and atrophy.
This study directly shows that jet lag decreases neurogenesis in the hippocampus and so this effect means that when you suffer from jet lag it has a profound effect on brain and memory function, and cognitive function is impaired at that time- there and up to a month later.
Anyone suffering from sleep rhythm disturbances, whether due to jet lag or a work schedule which means repeated disruption of circadian rhythms, such as those who undertake shift work, such as hospital doctors or operators of call centers, is likely to have a long-term impact on his cognitive functioning. behavior and function.”
How a simple diet can help you deal with jet lag:
If you suffer from jet lag, you’re going to function below normal, and a few simple techniques can help you avoid it. The worst effects seem to occur when traveling east, and generally you should allow a day of recovery for every one hour time zone change. These ideas might also help:
1) Melatonin – a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and one of its main tasks is to control the body’s circadian rhythm. — Melatonin supplements are thought to help the body adapt quickly to new surroundings and a low dose is recommended of 0.5mg per night for three nights, one hour before normal bedtime – not before. , once you arrive at your destination. Research suggests that taking it once a person has
2) Adjust your watch – so that it reflects the time at your destination the day before your trip, as this can help you psychologically adjust.
3) Homeopathy – a popular homeopathic remedy for jet lag is Cocculus Indicus and it can be taken every twelve hours from two days before the flight until three days after the flight. It is not generally available but can be supplied by any homeopathic chemist. These are more often on sale for specific aspects of jet lag:
• Arnica – insomnia and restlessness in case of excessive fatigue
• Bellis perennis – awakening in the middle of sleep and sleep interruptions
• Chamomilla – emotional and mental stress, insomnia, impatience, intolerance and disorientation
• Ipecacuanha – intense and constant nausea
• Lycopodium – anxiety, fears of anticipation, apprehension, inability to adapt to new surroundings, digestive problems, especially bloating and gas
4) Valerian – is a natural sleep aid and can help you adapt to new time zones by helping people fall asleep at the desired time. Valerian is non-addictive and will not cause drowsiness the next morning.
5) Diet – the usual suspects; avoid excess alcohol or caffeine, drink plenty of water and eat light meals. A new development on this is to start 3 days before departure and on day 1 eat a very high protein breakfast to help stimulate the body’s production of dopamine, then a high carbohydrate dinner to stimulate production. of melatonin. Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. On day 2, stick to light salads and soups, then on day 3, repeat the day 1 menu. On day 4, repeat day 2 and sleep as much as you can until it’s the breakfast time at your destination. Then eat a high-protein coffee-free breakfast, turn on the overhead reading light, and then stay as active as possible afterwards. If that doesn’t fit with the airline’s scheduled meal delivery, pack your own in the form of protein bars. WARNING – this is not a suitable diet for people with diabetes or eating disorders.
6) Bedtime – when you finally get to your own bed, make sure the room is completely dark and noise-free to allow your body to adjust and get enough sleep.
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