Anyone who’s flown across the Atlantic or further afield will know the feelings of exhaustion that can overwhelm you on landing. Why does jet lag happen and is there any way to lessen its effects? Jet lag was initially brought to the public’s attention by pioneering US aviator Wiley Post, who tried out different regimes to break his eating and sleeping habits. After flying around the globe, he wrote the book ‘Around the World in Eight Days’, which talked about his efforts to reduce jet lag Why does air travel affect us this way? The earth is divided into 24 time zones: time changes by one hour for each 150 degrees of travel east or west of the Greenwich meridian. Our bodies are programmed to become active and alert throughout the day and to sleep during the night. Traveling across the earth’s time zones disrupts these natural rhythms, leading to extreme tiredness.

Other symptoms can include insomnia, stomach upsets, aches and pains, and a sense of disorientation. Farrol Kahn, a medical author and director of the Aviation Health Institute, acknowledges that jet lag disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms and is dued to long-haul travel, but adds another important variable is the lower level of Oxygen in airplane cabins. Commercial airlines pressurize their cabins comparable to the pressure of 8,000 feet above sea level. There is 20-25 % less Oxygen at this pressure than normal. Prolonged travel under these situations robs the individual of their usual intake of Oxygen.

There are likewise several airborne contaminants in an airplane, and the body must use more of its oxygen reserves to purge these toxins. Lack of Oxygen, in conjunction with these toxins weakens both physical and mental performance. If you prefer to get more out of the start of your vacation or business trip, it’s important to be well rested before you embark, and well oxygenated upon your arrival. Oxygen bars are now springing up at many airports throughout the world. It is known that Oxygen is an all-natural stress reliever and will also boost your energy levels.

Symptoms of jet lag:

  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach upsets
  • Aches and pains
  • Disorientation

Jet lag does not have to spoil the beginning or end of your trip. With a little preparation, and a stop at the airport’s Oxygen bar, you can decrease the negative effects of flying.

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