Have you ever dropped into another country after a long flight and for the next couple of days felt like a bag of potatoes? If so, you've experienced jet lag. Horace Sutton coined the term "jet lag" in 1966, though the medical and psychiatric fields more typically use the term transient sleep disorder. Sutton described the feeling as leaving your body behind during long-distance airplane travel.
Jet lag occurs when your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour rhythm by which you function, is disrupted when you move to a new time zone. Jet lag often lasts about a week or more depending on the number of time zones that you cross. Each time zone you cross often requires one full day of recovery. While symptoms of jet lag vary, many people deal with the following.
With jet lag, your sleeping times are completely off. It's midnight, and you feel like it's midday with enough energy for a week, even though you know you should be sleeping. On the flip side, daytime seems like the perfect time to catch a nap, yet you probably can't sleep. The result is sleep deprivation and a feeling of general fatigue. You could fix this with a couple of sleeping pills, but letting your sleeping patterns return to normal naturally is best.
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