If you have travel plans this summer — whether for work or play — don't let jet lag get in your way.
Jet lag, also called jet lag disorder, is a temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone who travels across multiple time zones.
Sleep provides the foundation for all your daily habits and decisions. Getting enough quality rest each night is essential for optimal health. But a time shift ― even by one hour ― can take a toll on your sleep.
Your body has its own internal clock that signals when to stay awake and when to sleep. Jet lag occurs because your body's clock is still synced to your original time zone instead of to the time zone where you've traveled. The more time zones crossed, the more likely you are to experience jet lag.
Jet lag can cause daytime fatigue, an unwell feeling, difficulty staying alert and gastrointestinal problems. While it's temporary, jet lag can reduce your vacation or business travel comfort significantly. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent or minimize jet lag.
Sunlight is the most powerful natural tool for resetting your internal clock and regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Morning light exposure can help you adjust to an earlier time zone (traveling eastward), while evening light helps you adapt to a later time zone (traveling westward).
Plan ahead to determine the best times for light exposure based on your departure and destination points, and overall sleep habits: