Business trips and sleep

Often, doing business or staying in senior positions are associated with business trips to other cities and even countries. At first glance, travel is wonderful: a change of scenery, new experiences... But when the outcome of negotiations with foreign partners depends on the fate of your company, the charm of the notorious impressions somehow lost. And those who are going to fly especially far, expects another trouble: jet lag or jet lag.

Why are long-distance flights so hard to carry? Causes and consequences of jet lag

Many “events” taking place in the human body are subject to circadian rhythms – changes in physiological processes that occur at regular intervals. Circadian rhythms are also called the internal (biological) clock of the body. Most of them are daily, that is, their cycle lasts about 24 hours. One of the most striking examples of the daily rhythm is the cycle of “sleep-wakefulness“.

Full “turnover” of this cycle takes about a day. About 8 hours we sleep, the rest of the time – awake. Information about when and how much we should sleep, recorded in the genetic memory of man. That is why, no matter how much we try, we will not be able to learn to sleep for 2 hours a day, to all the rest of the time to Shine… what? Sure, work.

But genetic memory is not everything. Hours of sleep are at night, and wakefulness is associated with the day, so a person’s sleep is subject to external influences, namely the change of day and night. Thus, our sleep is controlled simultaneously by two mechanisms: internal processes and when the sun rises and sets.

Remote business trips are events that significantly and not the best way to affect the quality of sleep. A few hours of flight-and here the internal clock says one thing, and “external” show quite another. Because of the difference between the internal and geographical clock, a person has desynchronosis, which leads to the manifestations of jet lag.

Especially hard to carry flights to the East. They “shorten” the day, as in the place of arrival to Wake up and go to bed at an earlier time than at home. Travel to the West are somewhat easier: they lengthen the day, that is, going to sleep and waking up at a later time.

Jet lag can ruin a career

Politician and businessman Hiram Fong resigned and refused a seat in the Senate, as he could not transfer flights from his home in Hawaii to the office in Washington, which he was required to make about 20 times a year.

The symptoms of jet lag

In 1979 the American sportsman, an outstanding diver Greg Louganis squat in the competition has fallen with 10-metre platform into the pool, smashing her head. According to the doctors, the cause of the accident was the syndrome of jet lag, which led to inattention and defocusing the athlete.

The symptoms of this violation can affect anyone: how to force the future 4-time Olympic champion to stumble on the tower, and make the Manager, who went on a business trip, with shame to fail his mission… Here are a few signs of jet lag, which will allow you to “know the enemy in the face” and as soon as possible to take measures to restore the work of their biological clock.

  • daytime sleepiness;
  • difficulty falling asleep at night;
  • reduced concentration, inattention, memory impairment;
  • slow reaction;
  • digestive problems: abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation.

Jet lag occurs at the rapid intersection of 2 or more time zones. The farther the flight, the more pronounced the violations.

How to quickly adapt to the time difference? 10 rules for each stage of the journey.

To reduce and quickly overcome the symptoms of jet lag, you should follow a number of recommendations that prevent desynchronosis and help to quickly restore the course of the biological clock. To start this should be done before the trip.

Before the flight

1. For 4-5 days start preparing for life in a different time zone. Get up every day an hour later or earlier depending on whether you are flying East or West. Similarly, reschedule dinner and bedtime.

2. 2-3 days before the flight, refuse to take alcohol, it enhances the manifestations of jet lag.

3. Plan to arrive at your destination a few days before an important meeting, if you have to. This will give the body the opportunity to adapt to a new place and allow you to feel better when it is necessary.

4. Book a flight to arrive in the evening local time.

5. Choose a comfortable place on the plane.

6. On the last night before departure, take a tablet of Melaxen. It is a health-safe adaptogen that will reduce the effects of jet lag.

7. Before the flight, a good sleep, it will reduce the effect of the time difference. Avoid departure early in the morning, otherwise you will not get enough sleep.

8. Going on the road, dress in loose comfortable clothes and shoes. Comfort during the trip is an important condition for well-being.

9. Take with you things that you may need in flight: earplugs, sleeping pills, eye mask, book, etc.

10. Arrive at the airport with a margin of time. This will avoid stress, against which the change of time zones will be perceived more sharply.

During the trip

1. Sitting on the plane, immediately move your watch to the time that will be at the point of arrival.

2. During the flight, drink more, it avoids dehydration, which develops faster at low pressure. Dehydration, in turn, disrupts the transport of oxygen to the blood and increases the resulting desynchronosis.

3. Do not drink alcohol: alcohol increases dehydration and causes drowsiness.

Two SIPS of alcohol on the plane in its negative effects on the body are three SIPS of alcohol on the ground.

4. See what you eat on the plane: eating heavy food is undesirable, it increases the risk of digestive problems.

5. Move more, walk around the cabin.

6. If you can not walk around the cabin, you can perform a few light exercises without getting up (see figure below).

7. Remove contact lenses so as not to irritate the eyes, put on headphones to hear less noise. The absence of stimuli is necessary for the successful “translation” of the internal clock.

8. If the plane is cool, do not hesitate to ask for a blanket: it is very important to maintain a constant body temperature.

9. If the place where you arrive, at the time of arrival will be the second half of the night or early morning, try to take a NAP on the plane. Use earplugs, eye mask, you can take a short-acting sleeping pill. Just before arrival, you can drink coffee to cheer up, but the rest of the time stimulants should be avoided.

10. If the destination day or evening, refrain from sleeping on the plane. Better read a book or watch a movie.

Gymnastics on the plane

1. Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale through the mouth – 6 times.

2. Raise your right hand up, and pulled her whole body (without leaving your chair) – 6 times. Repeat the same with the left hand.

3. Turn your head from side to side – 6 times.

4. To make the tilting the head back and forth 6 times.

5. Make rotation in the shoulder joints-10 times.

6. Rotation in the wrist joints-10 times.

7. In the ankle joints-10 times.

8. Off the floor a foot, raise the knee of your right leg as high as possible 10 times. Repeat the same with the spruce foot.

9. To join the palms behind the back, sit 2 minutes.

10. Low to get up from the seat to sit back down 10 times.

11. Pull and relax the stomach-10 times.

12. You can relax-gymnastics is over!

At the point of arrival

1. Immediately begin to live local time: stay awake during the day and sleep at night.

2. At first, eat light food that will not lead to indigestion. Eat more food rich in carbohydrates, it gives a lot of energy and does not overload the gastrointestinal tract.

3. After waking up, especially if you were flying to the East, where the morning comes earlier than your inner clock, immediately open the curtains or go out in the sun.

4. In the hotel, rent a room with Windows facing East or South, so that the sun has always been your “assistant” in adapting to the new time.

5. In the morning, do exercise, it helps to restore the biorhythms.

6. Daily use the alarm clock, which will remind you of the need to Wake up and the time of “lights out”. This is especially important when there is a large time difference when it is easy to “get lost”.

7. Wear sunglasses or go to a room with limited light 2 hours before bedtime.

8. Take 1 tablet of Melaxen 30 minutes before bedtime for 3-5 days after arrival.

9. Do not eat at night local time.

10. When resting, use the sign “do not disturb”: to quickly recover, you have to sleep fully and without waking up because of an accidental knock on the door or the visit of the maid.

Dr. Eliza Gilmourd is an American Board Certified Sleep Specialist (DABSM) based in New Jersey. She has led and analyzed more than 300 sleep studies, including adult and pediatric patients. She is considered one of the leading practitioners in the field of sleep medicine in New Jersey. Dr. Eliza Gilmourd established SleepCare Solutions (SCS) in 2013 as an exclusive sleep disorder treatment center to provide outstanding clinical care to all patients with a wide range of sleep disorders, as well as training for patients and their families, other physicians and trainee physicians. SCS provides patients with expert consensus on individual diagnoses and management options, which may include follow-up breath tests, additional neurological examinations, or cognitive/behavioral therapy.

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