How to understand the fundamentals of jet lag pt.1

Understand the Fundamentals of Jet Lag Pt.1


What Is Jet Lag? Jet lag is, simply, a breakdown in your circadian rhythm caused by rapid travel through multiple time zones. Say, for example, you were to fly from San Francisco to New York City.

Your body doesn't have time to adjust to the three-time-zone difference over the course of the flight, so your body "thinks" that it's three hours earlier than what your watch says.

And until your internal clocks can reset themselves to the local time, you're left groggy and tired.

The severity of jet lag depends both on the traveler and the trip. North to south trips and shorter (1-2 time zones) east to west trips do not cause as noticeable lag as cross-country flights.

Additionally, some people's circadian rhythms take longer than others to reset. In all, however, the maximum amount of jet lag one could potentially endure is plus or minus 12 hours.

Interestingly, adjusting to losing hours (traveling west to east) is significantly harder than adjusting to gaining them (traveling east to west).

The former requires roughly 2/3 of a day per time zone crossed to recover from, while the latter demands just half a day.

Got No Rhythm? So circadian rhythms are the main culprit. What are they exactly, and can you beat find a way to beat them?

Circadian rhythms have been widely observed in the natural world and throughout history, and all living things are subject to their demands.

The process was first recorded in the 4th century BC by Roman sailors, and has made multiple appearances in both Eastern and Western medical texts since then.

By the 20th century, researchers had roughly deduced the length of the rhythm to be 24 hours, but it wasn't until 1994 that science first discovered its components, the mammalian '"clock gene."

Stay Hungry, for Pt. 2 of this guide

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