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Travel Time Difference Airsickness: 8 Tips To Avoid Jetlag On Business Trips

Stressful business trips through all time zones and with jet lag are part of everyday working life for many. Difficult if you are not there for days because of the jet lag. Tips for dealing with long-distance flying.

Business trips and jet setting as part of everyday working life

For many people today, jet setting is part of everyday working life. I recently met an engineer on the plane who was on his way to Thailand. Recently, he said, he flew back and forth for a meeting on the same day. This time he will be staying for a few weeks, but will continue to travel to the USA the day after his return. What a stress for the body - especially when you do something like that all the time!

But even with normal vacation trips, as many of us do at least once a year undertake, the question arises: How does the body withstand such time shifts to which it has to adapt extremely quickly due to the comparatively short flight times? For example, on a week-long boat trip, the body would have significantly more time to adapt. And how do you best deal with the problem?

The crux with chronobiology

The human body follows a very specific rhythm, the so-called chronobiology. Certain processes, such as sleeping and waking times, should ideally be repeated every day in a regular rhythm - apart from certain seasonal fluctuations. Chronobiology influences blood pressure, pulse rate, core body temperature and mood. Responsible for this are hormones that are released in a precisely defined daily rhythm, the so-called circadian rhythm.

If this rhythm is disturbed, e.g. due to a time difference, physical problems such as loss of appetite, temperature sensation disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, palpitations, stomach problems, nausea, fatigue, depressive moods or irritability can occur. In the case of recurring jetlag, an increased cortisol level can be observed after 5 years.Spiegel detect in the blood.

What happens in the body

The Hormon Center Munich has exactly what happens in the body when you experience jet lag in a publication exactly described:

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 The central hormone in humans that synchronizes the day-night rhythm is the hormone melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone. It is made primarily in the brain from another hormone, the hormone serotonin. The latter is also known as the happiness hormone, as it is partly responsible for our mood and our eating behavior. The formation of serotonin in the brain is highly dependent on light, which is why its production decreases in winter and when there is a lack of light. On the other hand, melatonin, which is also formed in the brain, is released under the influence of darkness. That is why the daily melatoninSpiegel much higher in winter. The result: we are more tired and more prone to depression. Incidence of light, on the other hand, inhibits its production. Melatonin and serotonin are therefore natural opponents that are inextricably linked. Incidentally, the timeframe for the release of melatonin is subject to an individual pattern for each person. It is a kind of endocrinological fingerprint! This also explains the large individual differences in sleep deprivation tolerance.

You don't have to be helpless in the face of time differences or the often inevitable jet lag. Some tried and tested tips.

But what exactly can you do against jet lag? Some colleagues, experienced travel journalists, have given me a few tips that I have used more or less successfully on my trips to New Zealand and Canada, so to speak, in a self-experiment. Because I can say so much: I can only confirm the thing with the endocrine fingerprint from the first part of the article - some things seem to work very differently for me than for other people.

  1. Adjust to that Objective: It is recommended that you gradually adjust to the new time zone before departure. Sounds logical, but personally I find it difficult. Since the release of melatonin depends on the incidence of light, I find it pretty impossible to just go to bed earlier or sleep longer. This is usually easier on site, with appropriate lighting conditions.
  2. A tip that almost every colleague gave me: Immediately adapt to the new time zone. So for the first few days when traveling westward, force yourself to go to bed later, when traveling eastward, earlier. That's exactly what I didn't manage on my trip to Canada: With an 8-hour time difference, I slept in the afternoon, which was a big one Error because it made me tired all the time.
  3. East-West time change: It is said that the changeover when traveling eastwards is more difficult than traveling westwards. Reason: Since the body actually has a 25-hour rhythm, it is more difficult for it to artificially extend the day. However, I could not confirm this conviction: The time change to New Zealand with a 10-12 hour time difference to the east (summer time here, winter time there) was much easier for me than the 8 hour time difference to the west to Canada. Conversely, it took me 10 days to go to New Zealand until I had reasonably normal bedtime again in Germany, whereas I switched to Canada very quickly.
  4. Sun: Sun lowers melatoninspiegel helps to cope with daytime sleepiness. If you can, you should ideally go out a lot at your destination, which helps you feel less tired.
  5. Longer recovery periods: Usually you have the problem with jet lag twice, once on the outward flight and once on the return flight. Studies show: the longer the recovery phases in between, the sooner you digest the jetlag. Jetting down under for a moment, I wouldn't do it anymore from my own experience - even two weeks were too short for New Zealand for these reasons.
  6. Sleep on the go: It is helpful if you can sleep on the flight. You arrive at your destination relatively relaxed. Business class can definitely be worth it! What should help, but didn't make any difference for me: Don't eat anything, because the body switches to wakefulness by eating.
  7. Medicines and sleeping pills: All sorts of little remedies are circulating in the travel industry, even those that are banned in Germany. Sense of the whole: You should be able to sleep en route on the trip and then arrive at your destination reasonably rested. However, it is not recommended to use such agents, as well as the use of coffee or alcohol, as such aids only prolong the jet lag.
  8. Hormone intake: However, one study shows that melatonin, taken in the evening before bed, can reduce the effects of jet lag. The ingestion of 3 mg of so-called sustained-release preparations with a slow incubation period proved to be particularly helpful. Depending on the serotoninSpiegel Taking 5'hydroxytryptophan, a natural amino acid, before bed can also be helpful.

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