‘Technically called circadian dysrythmia, jet lag is a disruption of the body’s intricate biological inner-sleep cycle caused by crossing multiple time zones quickly. ‘; The mental and physical ramifications of jet lag can be detrimental and potentially dangerous to the individual’s health. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, ‘Fatigue is the No. 1 factor that detrimentally impacts the ability of pilots. ‘; Footy ‘ According to a PBS television documentary ‘Sleep Alert,’; a Boeing 747 captain noted:’; It is not unusual for me to fall asleep in the cockpit, wake up twenty minutes later and find the other two crew members totally asleep.
‘;footy In another report, ‘A Boeing 757 captain told how his forehead hit the control column on his approach to New York’s Kennedy Airport as the need for sleep became overwhelming. ‘;footy Of course, the consequences of sleep deprivation in most cases will not be as severe as the in previous examples, but it does illustrate the importance sleep plays in job performance. The lodging facility of the traveler is in the best position to reduce and alleviate the negative affects of jet lag. In order to provide the best possible service to the guest, hotels will be forced to recognize this problem and create solutions for it.
As it stands right now, the best solution to this problem is education. Recognizing the symptoms of jet lag is the first step in the education process. In his book, Power Sleep, Dr. James Maas of Cornell University describes the symptoms of jet lag as follows. Daytime Sleepiness.
Ninety percent of travelers report experiencing daytime fatigue and sleepiness. If you give in to the urge to sleep during the day at your destination, you may not be tired enough to sleep at bedtime. Insomnia. The next most common symptom of jet lag is insomnia. You experience difficulty falling asleep at night. Once you do get to sleep you’ll have less deep sleep and less REM sleep.
The nights sleep is often fragmented by frequent awakenings. Poor Concentration. More than two thirds of air travelers report having poor concentration, or in severe cases of jet lag, temporary amnesia. You become unable to focus attention, cannot think clearly, have foggy memory, and your ability to write coherently is impaired.
Disorientation. Many travelers also experience disorientation. They become confused and cannot remember where they are, especially when they wake up in the middle of the night. Slower Reaction Time.
Many travelers suffer from slower reflexes. This seems especially relevant if they must cope with unfamiliar traffic patterns (driving on the opposite side of the road) in their new destination. Gastrointestinal Problems. About 50 percent of travelers say that jet lag disrupts their digestion. You might have a poor appetite or have hunger pains at odd hours.
You might become constipated and experience heartburn or ulcers from eating meals at hours when you would usually sleep. Maas continues with his 4 step method for combating jet lag. #1 Planning Your FlightAvoid flights with early morning departuresArrive at the destination in time for a full nights sleepAvoid Red Eye FlightsSelect plane seats that are conducive to sleeping (away from bathrooms)Select a seat opposite the side of the sunTry to get a seat with good leg room that can reclineGive yourself plenty of time to get to the flightAsk if there are any empty rows of seats to lie downPack comfort items eyeshade, earplugs, slippers, gum, moisturizer, lip balm, nasal decongestant, and waterwear loose fitting clothes#2 During Your FlightImmediately ask for a pillow and blanket to avoid shortagesAdjust your watch to the destination time and follow itDrink lots of water during flight. A well hydrated body adjusts to time changes fasterAvoid alcoholAvoid smoking, overeating, or eating spicy foodsWalk around plane to increase circulationStretchLoosen clothing and take off shoesRemove contact lenses to avoid eye irritationWhile airborne adhere to destination time. If it is nighttime get .