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What Causes Jet Lag and How Do You Fight It?

Genexa Genexa 2018-07-09 11:07:00 -0700


As summer travel season gets well under way, you’re probably fantasizing about your upcoming vacation to a far-off location. Whether you’ll be visiting another continent, another country, or just another state, there is one drawback to long-distance trips: jet lag. Most people have experienced jet lag at some point in their life, but do you know what causes it? More importantly, do you know how to ease or avoid the nasty symptoms associated with it? Find some answers in this blog. 

Symptoms of Jet Lag

Common symptoms of jet lag include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and disorientation, among others. These symptoms usually show up within 12 hours of traveling or sleep cycle disruption, and can last for several days[1]! That’s certainly not a fun way to start off (or spend) your vacation.

Jet Lag Causes 

The most common and well-known cause of jet lag is long-distance travel across time zones. In general, however, jet lag is actually caused by any significant disruption to your body’s circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s 24-hour cycle that regulates hormone levels and daily activities, like eating and sleeping. When this rhythm is disrupted either by travel (which results in losing or adding time to your day) or irregular shift work, your hormones get out of sync with the environment. This causes the symptoms you know as jet lag[2].


While jet lag is definitely not a fun part of traveling, there isn’t exactly a “cure” or “treatment” for it, either. The best things you can do to prevent jet lag is to prepare for it in advance, by sleeping on the plane, adjusting your body for the transition in advance, and avoiding both alcohol and caffeine at the beginning of travel (since these can disrupt your natural clock even more!). When you arrive at your destination, try to get as much exposure to sunshine as possible during daylight hours, since sunlight helps regulate your circadian rhythm[3]

There are also some over-the-counter remedies that can help with jet lag symptoms, such as Genexa Jet Lag Rx, which you can find on our website or in a retailer near you. With the right combination of preventative measures and remedies like Jet Lag Rx, you’ll be over jet lag and enjoying your travels in no time. Remember to sign up for our email list for more tips, content, and news!


[1] Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, RN, CRNA

[2] Christian Nordqvist, Medical News Today

[3] Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, RN, CRNA



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