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Jet Lag


8 Proven Ways to Get Over Jet Lag

Posted Sunday 27 September 2020 12:00 by Harman Bhamra in Jet Lag

Medically known as desynchronosis, jet lag is a temporary condition that affects people who are not used to travelling to distant places with different time zones. It can also affect people who are not travelling but whose sleep and wake patterns have been disturbed. Read on to discover 8 proven ways to get over jet lag.

Aside from sleeping problems, jet lag can also cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Inability of focus
  • Malaise (general feeling of not being well)

The Causes of Jet Lag

One of the most common causes of jet lag is a disturbance in your circadian rhythm, commonly known as your body clock. Your body clock is responsible for important functions in your body like your bowel movement and sleep-wake pattern. Your circadian rhythm usually goes haywire when you travel across several time zones where your body goes out of sync with your destination’s timezone.

Another popular cause of jet lag is sunlight. Light helps regulate your body’s production of melatonin --- an important hormone that keeps your body in sync. During night time, your body, particularly your pineal gland, produces more melatonin to help you sleep. Melatonin production during the day is minimal. Jet lag occurs when the normal melatonin cycle gets disturbed by sunlight or intense light.

How Long Does Jet Lag Last?

Studies show that the human body adjusts to time zones at a rate of up to two time zones a day. This means that the more time zones you cross, the more time your body needs to adjust. For example, if you crossed six time zones in your trip, your body will need up to five days to fully adjust to the local time.

Jet lag is usually temporary and complications resulting from jet lag are extremely rare.

Proven Ways to Get Over Jet Lag

You can help your body get over jet lag quickly. From simple tips to taking jet lag treatments, below are 8 proven ways to get over jet lag:

1. Just relax on the first few days

Whether you are travelling for work or vacation, it helps to give your body some time to adjust. Avoid stressful activities until the third or fourth day. Long flights can take a toll on your body. The stress is even worse if the weather in your origin is cold and the weather in your destination is hot. Let your body acclimatise.

2. Drink lots of fluids

Not sure if you’ve noticed it but the air inside the aeroplane is usually dry --- causing your skin to lose a lot of moisture. If you are on a long flight, keep your water levels healthy by drinking a glass of water every once in a while. You can also bring an insulated water bottle with you which is great for keeping water fresh and cool for extended periods of time.

Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages (e.g. soda, coffee, and tea) during your flight. These drinks can dehydrate you real fast -- making it harder for you to overcome jet lag when you reach your destination. Just drink juice and water.

3. Change the time in your watch to the new time zone

You start adjusting to your new time zone while on the plane. So, as soon as you are in the air, set your watch to your destination’s time zone. This should help you mentally prepare for the new rhythm once you land. If it's daytime in your destination, stay awake as much as possible. If it’s nighttime, grab some sleep during your flight. Sleeping should not be a problem because aeroplane cabins are usually dimmed during flight. Staying awake can be challenging but you can do it!

4. Consider an overnight stopover

If you are travelling east and you have some time to spare, consider booking an overnight stopover to break your long-distance flight. Not only can you visit beautiful cities (think of Bangkok, Hongkong, Taipei, Singapore, etc.), you also give your body time to relax and acclimatise.

During your stopover, explore, eat good food, and relax so you feel invigorated when you take your next flight.

5. Adapt your body to your new sleep-wake cycle

How you spend your time on the plane will determine your sleep-wake cycle once you arrive at your destination. If you are travelling east, sleep on the plane. You can fall asleep easier if you wear comfortable clothing. Some cushions and a pair of earplugs will be great too!

If you are travelling west, you will want to stay awake. A great way to do this is to book a plane with good inflight entertainment. If you’re on a budget, bring your favourite movies or a TV series with you.

6. Live like a local

Living in the local timezone is key to getting over jet lag right away. While it’s tempting to sleep in your hotel room once you arrive, resist the temptation at all cost. Instead, leave your things and grab a coffee. Go out, explore, and make yourself comfortable. Avoid thinking about home. Grab breakfast even though it's dinner time at home. Remember that jet lag is just a mind game!

7. Go dark or go bright

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake pattern. Sunlight inhibits melatonin production that’s why you are wide awake during the day. At night, your body produces lots of melatonin to help you fall asleep.

If it’s morning in your destination, get as much sunlight as you can. If it’s evening, go somewhere dark so you can fall asleep easily.

8. Take Circadin

Circadin is a jet lag treatment that you can order from Express Pharmacy. This drug contains the hormone melatonin which helps regulate your body clock and treat the symptoms of jet lag. You can buy Circadin from us today.


5 Important Items to Pack When Travelling Abroad

Posted Thursday 16 April 2020 12:00 by Harman Bhamra in Jet Lag

Packing tends to be a stressful experience - no matter how often you do it. And, when it comes to travelling abroad, there’s always so much more to think about!

Whether it's something as important as a passport or as trivial as a toothbrush, it's a traveller's worst nightmare to board a plane without having what they need. This guide will help you to have a stress-free packing experience, leaving you to focus on the excitement which comes from travelling.

5 Essential Items To Pack For Your Travels

Important Documents

Passport, booking information, boarding passes and all travel documents need to be packed somewhere accessible and safe - you’ll have trouble making it on holiday if you leave them at home.

Nowadays, many of these documents have been digitised and are accessible on your mobile with apps, but don't rely solely on your phone (it could die on you at any second!).

Having a paper copy of all important documents can ensure a smoother and stress-free travel experience, reassuring you that you have everything you need, should anything happen to your phone.

Medication

Bringing a little toiletry bag to have medication in can save you and your travelling companions from disaster. Aside from prescriptions, simple headache tablets or pain killers are useful to have, preparing you for unexpected discomfort in a location they may not be available to buy.

As well as paracetamol, other tablets such as diarrhoea tablets and anti-malaria tablets can be vital depending on the destination of your travels. Both are available at Express Pharmacy.

Another useful medication to keep on hand, especially for those long-haul flights, is jet lag cure. The most common jet lag cure is Circadin 2mg - a medication that contains melatonin to help relieve symptoms of jet lag and help your body resume its normal sleep-wake pattern.

This medication is widely available and will prevent you from losing the first few days of your holiday due to jet lag symptoms, which can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Stomach problems
  • Affected mood
  • An overall feeling of being unwell

Electricals

In an age where most of us can't live without our phones, forgetting your charger would be catastrophic. The majority of people charge their phones in the same port every night and so chargers rarely move, making it very easy to forget to unplug and pack them.

Adaptors are another electrical you want to make sure you have packed in your suitcase. A universal travel adaptor is your best bet when purchasing - these can be used in all countries, saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Glasses

Reading glasses or contact lenses may seem too important for people to forget, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to pack items they use in their everyday routine. Nothing will ruin your trip more than not being able to see properly.

Also - if you’re heading to a sunny destination, don’t forget to pack sunglasses! Sunglasses can be costly to replace but they’re also one of the most common things that people forget to pack.

Money

Another crucial item to pack, that may slip your mind, is holiday money. Forgetting to get the right currency can be costly if you’re faced with harsh exchange rates while abroad.

To prevent this from being an issue, it’s worth signing up for a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. This card will enable you to pay without the worry of having to sort out currencies.

Enjoy Your Travels!

With these 5 important items in mind, you’re well on your way to having a stress-free trip.

Get in touch with our experts to discuss any health concerns you may have while travelling. We offer a range of treatments, from jet lag right through to traveller’s diarrhoea.


Minimising Jet Lag Requires Weeks of Preparation, Says Study

Posted Monday 19 August 2019 09:16 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

Research from the University of Sydney suggests that we are waiting too long to prepare for jet lag

Scientists from the University of Sydney conducted a study into the effects of jet lag, looking at what can be done to lessen the impact of the condition.

The research, which began in early 2018, focused on non-pharmacological ways to counter jet lag. They concluded that, without medication, effectively avoiding jet lag can require weeks of preparation.[1]

Steve Simpson, academic director of the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, says that planning is where most travellers fall short. We need to start altering our body clocks for days or even weeks before boarding the flight.

“The way you feel, the way you function – mentally through to bowel movements – is all ultimately controlled by your body clock,” said Simpson.

“What you can do is make sure you’re pushing as quickly as you can to the destination time zone and getting the timing of things right.”[2]

However, public health researcher Dr Sun Bin notes that other factors are equally as important as planning when it comes to jet lag, such as light, alcohol and hydration.

“Basically, jet lag is a mismatch between your body clock and the time at your destination.”[3]

What is jet lag?

Jet lag occurs when your usual sleep routine is disturbed after a long flight. You may feel extremely tired during the day, or wide awake in the middle of the night, or both. Symptoms can last for several days as your body gets used to its new time zone.[4]

Common symptoms of jet lag can include:

Difficulty getting to sleep at night and waking up in the morning

Finding it hard to stay awake throughout the day

Severe tiredness and exhaustion

Difficulty concentrating

Poor memory

Low sleep quality[5]

How do you minimise jet lag?

Beginning your preparations early is an important part of lessening the effects of jet lag. By altering your sleep schedule by 15 minutes or so every day for a few weeks before travelling, you can shift seamlessly into a new time zone.

But there are other factors involved in the regulation of your circadian rhythm. These include eating according to the meal times of your destination, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, staying hydrated and getting plenty of natural light exposure the morning after arriving at your destination.[6]

Your destination can also play a part in the severity of your jet lag. Of course, the further you travel the greater the time difference, and therefore the greater the jet lag. But research has also found the travelling from west to east results in worse jet lag than travelling east to west.[7]

Medication can help to reduce the impact of jet lag

Medication like Circadin can be used to regain control of your sleep-wake cycle by regulating your body’s release of melatonin — your natural sleep hormone.

The effectiveness of Circadin has been shown through rigorous testing, revealing its usefulness in improving sleep quality and helping patients sleep normally when compared to a placebo drug.[8]

Circadin is an effective way to regulate your sleep-wake cycle, and is available from Express Pharmacy. Click here to discover more or get in touch with one of our expert pharmacists today. Call 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat service.

[1] Bin, YS., Postnova, S., Cistulli, PA. What works for jetlag? A systematic review of non-pharmacological interventions. Sleep Med Rev. 2018.

[2] Attard, M., Extel CV. Long flight ahead? Prepare weeks in advance to avoid jet lag, scientists say. ABC News. 2018.

[3] Bin et al. 2018.

[4] NHS UK. Jet lag. 2017.

[5] National Sleep Foundation. Jet Lag and Sleep. 2018.

[6] Kalia, A. Five ways to minimise jet lag. The Guardian. 2019.

[7] Klein, J. Why Jet Lag Can Feel Worse When You Travel From West to East. The New York Times. 2016

[8] European Medicines Agency. Circadin. 2007.


Does Changing the Time You Eat Stop Jet Lag?

Posted Friday 21 June 2019 12:47 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

Travelling opens you up to fantastic experiences, but one side-effect of far-flung jet-setting which isn’t so fantastic is jet lag.

Jet lag is the result of a disruption to an individual’s natural sleep pattern – typically caused by crossing several time zones on a long flight. The symptoms of jet lag usually continue until the body has adjusted to a new time zone – more often than not over the course of a few days.[1] These symptoms of jet lag usually include disorientation and finding it hard to function, fatigue and being unable to fall asleep.[2]

This is something many of us have experienced. In fact, one poll of 2,000 adults found that more than eight in 10 participants had struggled with severe fatigue after a long-haul flight.[3]

But there are also other contributing factors that have a part to play in determining the severity of your jet lag, as highlighted by recent research.

Research by the University of Surrey explored the link between jet lag and eating times

A study from the School of Psychology at the University of Surrey has looked into any possible connection between mealtimes and the likelihood of experiencing jet lag after travelling. In the study, 60 long-haul crew members were divided into two groups.

The first set of participants followed a regular meal plan on their days off following a long flight, while the second group had no plan for regular meals. The results found that sticking to a regular mealtime schedule played a significant role in helping the crew members adapt their circadian rhythms during their days off.[4]

Author of the study, Dr Cristina Ruscitto, discussed these results further, saying:

“Many crew tend to rely on sleep rather than earing strategies to alleviate symptoms of jet lag, but this study has shown the crucial role meal times can indeed play in resetting the body clock.”[5]

How to deal with jet lag effectively

Mealtimes aren’t the only outside factors to play a role in either worsening or lessening the impact of changing time-zones. The direction of travel, natural light levels, caffeine intake and alcohol all have a part to play in determining just how severe your experience of jet lag will be.[6]

Jet lag can be worsened by factors like stress, discomfort and air pressure. All of these factors can occur while flying, meaning that moving time zones via a plane can lead to a significant risk of jet lag.[7]

Medication is one of the main ways to effectively combat jet lag while travelling. A poll by NSF found that 15% of respondents used either a prescription medication and/or over the counter sleep aids. These were found to be an effective way to manage the short-term insomnia brought on by travel.[8]

Treatment such as Circadin can help to regulate your body’s production of melatonin – our natural sleep hormone. This will help you feel more tired when night falls, aiding your body clock in its adjustment.

You can find safe and effective treatment for jet lag here at Express Pharmacy, such as Circadin. And if you have any questions for our pharmacists, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.

[1] NHS UK. Jet lag. 2017

[2] British Airways. Jet lag advisor. 2019

[3] Elsworthy, E. How to avoid jet lag before, during and after a flight. The Independent. 2018

[4] La, P. Jet-lag is given the swerve by adjusting meal times on the ground, find researchers. University of Surrey. 2016

[5] Ruscitto, C. PhD. accessed via La, P. 2006

[6] American Sleep Association. Jet lag treatment, recovery and symptoms. 2019

[7] Sleep Education. Jet Lag – Overview. 2019

[8] NSF. Sleep in America Poll. 2002., accessed via: National Sleep Foundation. Jet lag and sleep. 2012


6 Common Mistakes We Make When Trying to Beat Jet Lag

Posted Friday 25 May 2018 12:10 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

If you’re setting off for the summer in the next couple of months, here are the common mistakes you shouldn’t make when trying to avoid the dreaded jet lag.

Sticking to your normal sleeping pattern in the weeks leading up to your flight

Even if your normal sleeping pattern is a healthy 8 hours of ‘early to bed, early to rise’, it’s still a good idea to start modifying it at least a week or two before you travel. Part of the problem with jet lag is that you essentially shock your body into an entirely new routine without warning. Building up a new sleeping pattern gradually – by going to bed a little earlier or later each night in accordance with your destination’s time difference – can help ease you into a new time zone. That way, by the time you reach your destination, your circadian rhythm already has a head start.

Relying on caffeine and alcohol when flying

When we fly, many of us fall into the trap of enjoying a tipple or two to help us sleep, or a strong coffee to keep us alert. But neither of these are good options when it comes to avoiding jet lag. No matter how much better they make you feel in the short term, coffee and alcohol are both dehydrating, and this is a common factor in many cases of jet lag. Symptoms like headaches and fatigue are worsened as a result.

Thinking any seat will do on your flight

If you’re heading off on a long-haul flight, bear in mind that not all seating is created equal. Remaining stagnant throughout a long flight is a significant factor in many cases of jet lag, while stretching and moving regularly have been shown to combat symptoms. With this in mind, the ideal seat should be by the aisle, not the window, and should provide you with plenty of leg room for carrying out simple stretches every 15 minutes.

Forgetting to adjust your watch

The first thing you should do when you sit down on the plane is adjust your watch to fit the time zone of your destination. This simple action forces you to make a conscious note of what time your body should think it is, reminding you to take action to make this the case. From this point on, aim to sleep and eat in accordance with what your watch is saying.

Using comfort foods to keep you going

When we’re tired, we have a tendency to fall back on fatty comfort foods as a source of energy, but this isn’t going to benefit you in the long run. Snacks like chocolate are high in sugar, which will lead to a brief surge in energy and an inevitable crash. Instead, make your first meal upon arrival a protein and nutrient-rich option, allowing you to burn off energy slowly and see you through your first day.

Treating yourself to a nap the minute you arrive at your destination

The very worst thing you can do after a long-haul flight is immediately crawl into bed, unless your new time zone dictates that it’s time to do so. Taking a nap when you arrive means you’ll wake up feeling wide awake in a few hours… just in time to go back to bed.

If you arrive during the day, you must do everything you can to stay awake until night time in order to avoid jet lag. Get out into the sunlight, as this will boost your energy levels, and set your alarm early the next morning so you don’t end up sleeping in.

Another mistake we make? Forgetting that effective medication can help you avoid jet lag. Melatonin – your body’s natural sleep hormone – is available in the medication Circadin, which can regulate your sleep schedule on holiday. Contact Express Pharmacy today on 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat service.


Planning Your Summer Getaway? Here’s How to Avoid Jet Lag

Posted Thursday 10 May 2018 09:37 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

Planning your summer getaway? Here’s how to avoid jet lag

Nearly 93% of travellers experience jet lag at some point, so here’s how to stop it ruining your holiday

For many of us, the arrival of sunshine immediately inspires us to book that all important summer holiday. It’s hard to resist the draw of a couple of weeks stretched out beneath the blazing sun, but for too many of us jet lag can put a serious dampener on our getaway.

Luckily, it is possible to avoid jet lag and enjoy your holiday from the moment you step off the plane. The first step to beating jet lag is understanding it, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide to answer all your questions.

What is jet lag?

Jet lag occurs when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight. Due to a shift in time zones, your body clock — or circadian rhythm — has to adjust to a new schedule, which can lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

Who gets jet lag?

Jet lag can affect anyone travelling across time zones, and the only fluctuations in severity are a result of personal differences. For example, people who stick to rigid routines at home are often worse affected by jet lag than people with more fluid schedules. Young children are also often less affected by changing time zones.

The main factor which determines the extent of jet lag is the distance of travel. The more time zones you travel across, the more severe your jet lag is likely to be. What’s more, travelling west to east usually results in worse jet lag than travelling east to west, reflecting the greater difficulty of advancing your body clock compared to delaying it.

What causes jet lag?

The dominant cause of jet lag is travelling across time zones, which alters your circadian rhythm and makes it difficult to adjust to a new schedule of sleeping and waking. However, other factors which can impact on the severity of your jet lag include:

Your pre-flight condition, particularly tiredness, anxiety, stress or being hungover

High altitude and increased cabin pressure, which can lead to swelling and tiredness

Alcohol consumption, as the impact alcohol has on the body increases two-fold when you’re flying

Dehydration, which can be caused by alcohol but also through lack of water and a reliance on strong coffee

Lack of exercise, which is why passengers should stretch, get up and move regularly throughout their flight

How do you know if you have jet lag?

- The main symptoms of jet lag include:

- Difficulty waking up in the morning and sleeping at night

- Tiredness and exhaustion

- Poor sleep quality

- Finding it hard to stay awake throughout the day

- Lack of concentration

- Memory problems

- Indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea

How do you prevent jet lag?

Symptoms of jet lag usually improve on their own after a few days as your body clock adjusts to its new time zone. However, there are steps you can take to avoid severe jet lag.

Before you travel: make sure you get plenty of rest, following good sleep practices before going to bed. Try changing your routine gradually, going to bed and waking up an hour or two earlier or later than you normally would (in accordance with your new destination). You should also avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and large meals before bed.

During your flight: drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and stay active by stretching and walking regularly. If your flight takes place during normal sleeping hours (in line with your destination) then try to sleep.

After you arrive: change your sleep schedule to fit your new location as quickly as possible, and set an alarm to avoid oversleeping. Go outside during the day, as natural light will help your body clock adjust. Try to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime for your new location without relying on naps to perk you up.

You can also use effective medication to avoid jet lag. Circadin is a prescription medication which acts as a short-term treatment for insomnia. When taken whole one to two hours before bed, Circadin provides melatonin: the body’s natural sleep hormone, making sleep easier. This can help treat symptoms of jet lag.

Contact Express Pharmacy for guidance and treatment for a wide range of health concerns, including jet lag. You can get in touch today using our fast and discreet live chat service, or by calling 0208 123 07 03.

Tags: Circadin Jet Lag Travel Health

Air Travel Tips: Stay Safe & Healthy When Flying

Posted Monday 17 July 2017 16:12 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

Get the most out of your summer holiday by making sure you arrive as happy and healthy as possible

Everybody looks forward to their summer holiday, but few of us are as excited for the plane journey beforehand. Whether you are afraid of flying or just hate cramped, hot conditions, many in-flight experiences leave much to be desired.

Here are a few of our top tips on making international travel as comfortable as possible.

What can you do aboard your flight?

Even the most confident flyer wants to know they’re doing everything they can to stay as safe as possible whilst en route to their holiday destination. Thankfully, there are some simple precautions you can take.

Dress comfortably

Comfort is key when you’re on a plane, especially if you’re on a long haul flight and have restricted movement for hours at a time. Opt for loose, light layers that let your body breathe, and be sure to bring a jumper or cardigan to put on if you feel cold at any point.

Blood clots are one of many people’s biggest fears regarding a long haul flight, so it’s important to prevent restriction on your body where you can, including through your clothing. You may also have seen special compression socks available in airports or travel stores – these are designed to safeguard against deep vein thrombosis and can be a welcome addition to hand luggage.

Listen to the pre-flight briefing

Some people see the safety demonstration at the start of a flight as a chance to switch off, but the information included in this briefing could be life saving if an emergency does occur on your flight.

Be sure to listen carefully to the information being given, paying particular attention to where your nearest exit is and how to put your oxygen mask on correctly.

Get to know your seatbelt

Aeroplane seatbelts are notoriously fiddly, so make sure you’re familiar with the logistics of fastening and unfastening your belt with ease. You should also be paying attention to the seatbelt light above your head, as this will inform you when you need to be in your seat with your seatbelt fastened.

Relax

One of the worst things you can do on a flight is get stressed. Stress increases your levels of cortisol, which boosts your adrenaline and makes you feel restless. This isn’t what you want when you’re spending the next few hours stuck in the same environment. Take your mind off your flight, bring a book or try to sleep, and let your body and your mind relax.

Looking after your health: what is altitude sickness?

One of the biggest risks to your health when flying is altitude sickness, which is exactly as it sounds: feelings of nausea and discomfort when high in the air.

Why do you feel sick when flying?

Altitude sickness is a response to a higher altitude and lower air pressure, which can have a negative effect on the body. This combination means that the air you breathe has less oxygen per breath. It also causes the air to be dryer and water to evaporate faster.

Aside from the obvious sickness, symptoms of altitude sickness can include tiredness, backache, headache, muscle cramp and light-headedness. Certain individuals may be more susceptible to the condition than others, such as people with existing health conditions like heart disease.

What can you do to avoid altitude sickness?

Hydration is key to tackling altitude sickness, as a lack of hydration is a key component of the sickness itself. Drink plenty of water and be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol.

You should also try to move around aboard your flight when you can. Doing gentle stretches whilst sitting and taking short walks along the aisle can help reduce your risk of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Finally, you should consider medication to help treat your altitude sickness. Acetazolamide is an effective treatment which reduces the amount of excess fluid in your head and lungs, making it easier to breathe. This medication is available from Express Pharmacy.

Before you set off this summer, make sure you know how to keep you and your family safe when you’re up in the air. For more health queries and concerns, you can contact Express Pharmacy today via our discreet Live Chat tool.


The Important Factors That Can Affect Jet Lag

Posted Friday 02 June 2017 11:40 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

If you have ever flown long distance, the chances are that you will have experienced jet lag to some degree. Jet lag occurs when our bodies have to rapidly adjust to a new day and night schedule, throwing our circadian rhythms out of balance and leading to feelings of exhaustion, restlessness, nausea and dizziness. It’s not pleasant, and can put a dampener on the start of your holiday, so what can you do to try and lessen your symptoms?

Unfortunately, there is no outright cure for jet lag. But there are several things you can do to ease the problem and stop a change in time zone from ruining your break.

Moving on the plane makes a difference

When on a long haul flight, your best bet is to sleep as much as you can. However, many of us find it difficult to sleep effectively on uncomfortable plane seats.

So if you’re not sleeping, the next best thing to do is get up and move around as regularly as possible. Moving around the plane — or even just doing a few simple stretches every now and then — will help keep you mentally and physically active and prevent blood clots by keeping your blood pumping. It will also help you sleep better later on, as you’ll feel less restless.

Natural light has an impact

Natural light plays a big part in your circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that bathing yourself is natural light is one of the most effective ways of combating jet lag as it encourages our release of serotonin — the hormone which provides us with energy. Once you arrive at your destination, take a short walk and indulge in a little sunlight before attempting to sleep. This will help your body get used to its new schedule.

Severity can depend on the direction you fly

The seriousness of your jet lag often changes depending in which direction you fly. Travelling eastward makes jet lag worse, because travelling in this direction causes you to lose hours in your day, making it harder for your body to catch up with itself. It’s much more difficult to adjust to losing hours than gaining them, so if you’re travelling east this summer take extra care with your sleep health.

Dehydration plays a part

Dehydration leads to many of the same symptoms as jet lag, such as fatigue, nausea, headaches and dizziness. This means that being both dehydrated and jet lagged can make your condition even worse.

Regular hits of cold glasses of water are a good way of keeping unnecessary symptoms at bay, and will also help you feel more alert. Not to mention, all those extra bathroom visits will force you to be more active on your flight!

Drinking does more harm than good

There is a myth that having a few drinks on a long haul flight will help you avoid symptoms of jet lag. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, the opposite is typically the case. Alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, but it’s also guaranteed to lower the quality of the sleep you are getting. This will make you feel more tired and more irritable, as well as increasing your risk of dehydration and therefore extra, unwanted symptoms.

Caffeine can help beat it

A cup of coffee can actually improve your symptoms of jet lag, but only when used in the right circumstances.

If you’re travelling west then a cup of coffee at the right point in your journey may help you stay awake for longer by providing you with an extra burst of energy.

However, drinking coffee when you’ve lost time could prove disastrous as you should be aiming to relax your body in preparation for sleep. Travelling east? Avoid caffeine.

Use Circadin

At Express Pharmacy, we stock Circadin, a prescription only medication containing Melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body and is used to help treat the symptoms of jet lag. Find out more here.


How to Tackle Jet Lag

Posted Wednesday 15 February 2017 10:23 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

Whether you are travelling abroad for work or escaping it all for a relaxing week away, feeling healthy and fresh on arrival, is always a bonus. Unfortunately those trips that involve crossing multiple time zones can wreak havoc with our internal body clock – commonly known as jet lag.

Jet lag goes far beyond simple fatigue. In fact, there are a whole range of symptoms that can occur when our bodies struggle to adapt to a new light-dark schedule. Along with the common symptoms of disturbed sleep and lethargy, sufferers may experience a change in appetite, digestion, blood pressure and body temperature. And while jet lag is inevitable when you are crossing 7 or more time zones, there are a few easy tips that can greatly reduce its effects.

Here we share five easy tips to make sure jet lag does not affect your continental trip:

Say no to the drinks trolley

As tempting as it maybe to order a few glasses of wine or bottles of beer during a flight, it is something that definitely should be avoided if you are travelling long haul. Drinking alcohol may feel like a nice way to relax and may even help you nap. But the resulting dehydration will do you know favours and probably give you a nasty headache. It’s important to be aware that while alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it does not result in quality, restful sleep.

One of the most effective methods of fighting jet lag is to stay hydrated before and during your flight. This means watching your alcohol intake the week before flying to avoid dehydration.

Stay active:

A little bit of exercise before you fly is a great way to beat in-flight lethargy and you don’t necessarily need to commit to a full workout, either. Just make smart choices at the airport, instead of taking the escalators and travelators, take the stairs or carry out some light stretching before you set off for the airport.

Remember, you are going to be sat in a small space, for many hours so it is important to maintain blood circulation. Getting up and taking a walk whenever possible can help to keep your blood moving and prevent any numbness. Even whilst seated, stretching out your legs and wiggling your toes can help to keep your body in a better condition. It will also help to reduce the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis.

Time it right:

It is important to psychologically adjust to your new time zone as soon as possible so you are mentally prepared for the alteration to your sleep–wake cycle. Changing your eating schedule to match your new time zone is a great place to start. If you land in the morning, make sure you eat breakfast even if you are not hungry to get you settled sooner.

Tackle it with tech:

Adjusting your sleep schedule the week before you travel can be a tricky business, but thankfully there are plenty of apps out there that help you create and stick to a helpful sleeping plan before you go.

Choose your medication wisely:

It maybe a popular tactic, but taking sleeping pills on-flight should be avoided as they will only add to your drowsiness on arrival. However, there are other forms of medication that are better suited to tackling jet lag. Circadin is currently the only medication available with the active ingredient Melatonin – the hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle.

If you want to find out more about Circadin directly, talk to a member of our pharmacy team by using our Live Chat tool.

Tags: Circadin

An Introduction to Jet Lag

Posted Tuesday 10 January 2017 15:30 by Tim Deakin in Jet Lag

jet lag medicationFor most of us jet lag is simply an inconvenience that goes hand-in-hand with long haul flights, and for holiday goers the prospect of getting over the symptoms of jet lag on an exotic beach is enough to overlook the difficulties faced. However, for frequent flyers, jet lag is a very real and debilitating issue.

While our bodies and minds are simply not designed to cope with dramatic changes in time zones, there are a number of steps that you can take to alleviate and treat the symptoms of jet lag.

What exactly is jet lag?

Jet lag is experienced by individuals of all ages as they travel from one time zone to another. This journey essentially affects your body’s internal clock – the circadian rhythm – causing a wide range of unpleasant symptoms. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle of physiological processes that are initiated primarily by sunlight and temperature.

When jet lag is experienced these rhythms need time to adjust, particularly when it comes to your sleep-wake cycle.

What are the symptoms of jet lag?

There are a variety of symptoms associated with jet lag, and these tend to vary from person to person. The most common symptom is a disturbed sleep pattern, a side effect that will adjust as time goes by. Jet lag can also affect your digestive state causing problems like indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea.

Other jet lag symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diminished appetite
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Feeling unwell
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Sweating
  • Irregular menstruation for women

In addition to affecting the body physically, it can also have implications for your state of mind. These symptoms can include increased levels of anxiety, irritation or confusion, diminished concentration and short-term memory issues.

Do jet lag symptoms worsen the further you travel?

Just how severe your jet lag is depends on how many time zones you have travelled across. Those making their way across one or two time zones should experience little or even no jet lag. In fact, the majority of travellers don’t suffer significant jet lag until they cross three time zones or more in a flight. It is possible to experience symptoms of jet lag for up to six days if you have travelled across more than nine time zones.

Jet lag symptoms have been found to be more severe in people travelling in easterly directions, rather than on westerly flights.

How can jet lag be prevented and treated?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward cure to jet lag. However, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the impact on your mind and body. Adapting your sleep routine three to four days before your flight is an excellent way to make recovering from jet lag even faster, simply adjust your bed time by an hour in accordance with the time zone of your destination.

Numerous strategies can be utilised during your flight to reduce symptoms upon arrival. Stay well hydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol, sleep in short bursts and try to stay as active as possible with regular walks and stretching. Changing the time on your watch to the time at your destination will also help you adjust more quickly. Once you arrive try not to nap as soon as you get to your accommodation, instead opt for an outdoor excursion – exposure to natural light works wonders – and get started with your new routine sooner rather than later.

Here at Express Pharmacy, we stock effective jet lag treatment Circadin, a medication that contains melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is released in the body at night-time each day. It is an important part of every individual’s chemical make-up and helps to shape the sleep–wake cycle.

The melatonin contained within Circadin, helps to adapt you feeling of sleepiness to help you adapt your sleep pattern to the new time zone in which you find yourself. By helping you to achieve good quality natural sleep, your body and mind will more swiftly adapt to the new environment and allow you to feel refreshed and full of energy once more.

Want to know more? Why not ask us a question using the Live Chat function now?

Comments

Michael,hallewell on Wednesday 18 January 2017 00:12

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Michael,hallewell on Wednesday 18 January 2017 00:18

Erectile,dysfunction,and,diabetes

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