One thing everyone, especially your internal body clock, hates about shifting timezone: is jet lag. Why does it happen and how do you stop it?
Well the problem is how our bodies are built, or better said, what they weren’t built for. Since it is easy to change timezone, we take it as natural. But jet lag is your body’s way of telling you that it isn’t.
In essence, jet lag is a wave of symptoms that happen when your internal body clock is disrupted. The internal body clock is a group of cells known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN.
Their job is to tell your body what time of day it is. They help us balance our sleep cycles, bowel movements, as well as when we eat, mood and even blood pressure.
One major factor helps regulate the internal body clock, and that’s natural light. Each day, our body’s clock attempts to reset to match the movements of the sun.
When you shift from one time zone to another, it usually takes one day for your internal clock to regulate and adapt. However, it can take weeks or even up to a month.
To overcome jet lag, you can try a few things. You can either decide to keep functioning at home time when away, or you can start preparing before leaving and try to match the time of where you’re going.
Another way is to regulate your exposure to natural light. Try not to jump from day to day directly. If you leave one place during the day and arrive someplace else during morning, avoid natural light. Try to sleep and wake up with the sunrise the next morning.