Returning to work from an exotic holiday, or even just a short business trip in a far-flung land, won’t get you much sympathy from your colleagues. However, the suffering associated with jet lag – when your body is out of sync with a new time zone – is all too real. Fatigue, poor concentration, upset stomach, general confusion and malaise are all symptoms of jet lag. And you’ll get it even if you fly private.
There is, alas, nothing that can be done to totally eliminate the disorientating effects of jet lag. But there are lots of things we can do to help ease the body and mind’s transition back to normality, says Dr Cristina Ruscitto, a former member of a long-haul cabin crew, who also studied jet lag for her PhD from the University of Surrey.
“Jet lag happens when we disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms – our internal clock, which tells us when to go to bed, when to wake, and when to eat. We can send signals to our body to get it to adapt more swiftly by being mindful of when we expose ourselves to natural light and when we eat food,” she says.