Wyzwania Językowe

Dzień 30/30: #USAchallenge

JET LAG – a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia and other symptoms as a result of air travel across time zones – złe samopoczucie spowodowane różnicą między strefami czasowymi

Somewhere in Europe 🙂

There are 24 time zones in the world. After you cross time zones your body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm) gets disrupted. 

Your body’s natural 24-hour clock affects your sleeping and waking pattern as well as your appetite, digestion, hormones, temperature, blood pressure, etc.

You feel hungry in the morning and sleepy in the evening because your body clock is set to your local time. The body needs time to adjust to a new daily routine.

What are symptoms of jet lag?

  • fatigue
  • sleepiness
  • digestive problems
  • memory lapses
  • irritability

Your circadian rhythm is less confused if you travel westwards because travelling west prolongs the body clock’s experience of its normal day-night cycle. You’ra actually gaining time.

When you travel eastwards, you run in direct opposition to the body clock and you’re losing time.

Somewhere near Las Vegas, Nevada 🙂

How can you reduce jet lag symptoms?

  • make sure you sleep well before you set off (sleep deficit will make jet lag worse)
  • several days before travelling, try to adjust your sleeping habits to the destination time zone – if you travel westwards, go to sleep as late as possible for a few days before you leave; if you’re travelling east, try going to bed earlier a few nights before leaving
  • set your watch to the time at your destination as soon as you board the plane (this will help you mentally prepare for the new time zone)
  • sleep or stay awake like you’re already there. If it’s daylight at your destination, try to avoid sleeping on the plane.
  • drink plenty of water on the plane to avoid dehydration (and trust me, I KNOW what dehydration is and it is VERY dangerous)
  • avoid alcohol and coffee
  • choose light food and eat small meals frequently
  • wear comfortable and loose clothing
  • try to walk whenever possible, do some exercise
  • expose yourself to daylight which can help reset your internal clock

Waiting for our plane back home 🙂

Different bodies adjust to the new time zone at different speeds. The body needs from a few days to even a few weeks to acclimatise to the new time zone.

My experience

Yes, I do agree that travelling westwards is a piece of cake 🙂 We landed in NYC at 13.30 pm (which is 19.30 pm in Poland). We managed to stay awake until 21.00 pm (3.00 am in Poland), went to sleep and… woke up the next day at 6 am, we felt refreshed and ready to start the day 🙂 No sleepiness during the day at all. My daughter felt completely no difference 🙂

After we arrived in Las Vegas (after a 5-hour flight from New York City), we got pretty sleepy at about 21.00 pm (which was midnight in New York City, and 6.00 am in Poland). However, after one or two days we quickly adapted to it.

Our flight back was the longest one. We flew over 10 hours from San Francisco to London, then after 2 hours from London to Warsaw. When we finally landed I had no idea what day it was and where I was 🙂 9-hour time difference and travelling eastwards WAS a big deal. For the next two weeks I was nodding off during the day very often and was extremely sleepy. Nothing helped but sleep.

While in California it was 21.00 pm, in Poland it was already 6.00 am the next day. We thought our daughter would sleep much longer in the morning.

What a surprise it was when she woke up at 4.00 am, cheerful and ready to play! 🙂

I think that for such a long flight flat bed seats may be worth the upgrade. The quality of sleep is superior!

cross – przechodzić/przejeżdżać przez
circadian rhythm – rytm okołodobowy
disrupted – zdezorganizowany
affect sth – wpływać na coś
pattern – cykl
set to your local time – nastawić na czas lokalny
fatigue – zmęczenie
digestive problems – problemy z trawieniem
memory lapses – luki w pamięci
confused – zdezorientowany, pogmatwany
westwards – na zachód
prolong – przedłużyć
gain time – zyskiwać czas
eastwards – na wschód
lose time – tracić czas
set off – wyruszyć
sleep deficit – niedobór/brak snu
several days – kilka dni
board the plane – wsiąść do samolotu
dehydration – odwodnienie
frequently – często
loose clothing – luźne ubrania
expose yourself to – wystawić się
at different speeds – w różnym tempie
acclimatise to – zaaklimatyzować się
cheerful – wesoły
worth the upgrade – warty lepszego standardu

Have you ever experienced jet lag?
If not, have you heard about your family or friends who experienced it?


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