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  • Writer's pictureSophie Bostock, PhD

What can you do to reduce Jet Lag?

Jet lag. It's not just you. It's a real thing. On a trip to the US last week, I honestly got everything right on my way to speak at a conference .. and everything wrong on the way back home. I nearly slept through the start of a webinar today... 😳

Jet lag is also called circadian desynchrony and it's a mismatch between your internal body clocks and the light-dark cycle of the sun.

How long does it take us to adjust?

Estimates for how long it takes our body clocks to adjust vary.. it's usually easier when we travel west vs. east, because most of us have internal rhythms that run at just over 24 hours, but it's still highly unlikely that you'll adjust by more than 90 minutes per day - it may even be closer to 30 minutes per day.

The Science of Phase Shifting

The science of how to use timed exposure to light and darkness to aid adjustments or 'phase shifting' is a tad complicated, so I recommend using a ready made calculator such as..

- The Timeshifter app

- Jet lag Rooster

Travel with wrap around sunglasses and a portable light box if you're serious about nudging your circadian rhythms in a single direction. (Think Lewis Hamilton.. there's a reason F1 drivers so often wear sunglasses!)

Even if you can't manage precision light exposure, try to fly well rested, stay well hydrated, skip the caffeine unless you reeeeally need it.. and see Travel Fatigue video Part 1!

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