This is the Scientific Reason Flying Makes You So Tired

October 29th, 2019
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I believe there comes a time that you stepped off the plane feeling tired, groggy, or much worse, ready to practically drop on the floor and take a nap regardless if you’re still in the middle of the airport terminal. Jet lag is often considered as a traveler’s myth but it’s a very real thing and it does happen. As one travels, they may come to a period that they felt tired. It’s associated with jet lag or a temporary disorder. And as you fly to your dream destination, you can make use of the popular flight tracking system that enables its users to monitor and track planes in real-time. No need to worry if there are changes on your flight, you can be notified right away. We all want to travel without encountering problems especially when it comes to our bodies. That’s why we’re here to provide you enough knowledge about the scientific reasons behind you being tired as you travel and ways on how to prevent it.

What is jet lag?

Jetlag is defined as a temporary problem associated with sleep to anyone who quickly travels across different time zones. To dig deeper into it, our body’s internal clock only stays in the one time-zone regardless if we physically travel to another. Having said so, our body clocks are out of sync and jetlag is not caused by a lack of sleep. There are times, especially if you’re sensitive enough, your travel can cause the fatigue to set in. There are bountiful reasons why jet lag occurs and it has to do with one’s physiology and what happens to our bodies while we’re on a flight. You can’t do so much to control the plane’s environment but there are ways to prepare and take care of your body before and after a trip. We’ve listed below some causes of it:

You’re dehydrated

It has been proven that the atmosphere in the plane’s cabin is too dry which is mostly due to the high altitude. Another thing is that the plane air filtration systems often don’t allow for sufficient humidity as we’re used to on the ground. It is recommended to refrain from drinking products that contain alcohol or caffeine since they are known as notorious dehydrators. If you persist, you may experience dry skin and eye, headache, fatigue and even dizziness.

The aircraft’s elevation and pressure

The plane’s elevation can reach more than 36,000 feet and your body has to adjust to it fairly quickly, the main reason why cabins are pressurized and also to diminish the effects of being at a high elevation. The cabin pressure is far different from what you would feel at sea level. Its calibration is being compared to the feeling when you’re in the Rocky Mountains or around 7,000 feet elevation. With such a high elevation, please be reminded that the air becomes much thinner so there’s less oxygen than you would have as being compared on the ground. Pressurized cabins can lead to swelling, ear pressure or other symptoms similar to altitude sickness. Have you also noticed that you feel a little bit bloated? It’s because the changes in pressure cause the gas inside your stomach and intestines to expand.

You’re stressed out

Traveling is not just about having fun, there are times that things may get stressful. From the beginning, we don’t have any choice but to sit on our tiny seats and wait for a couple of hours or more before reaching one’s desired destination. Some other stress factors include getting to the airport terminal on time, waiting in queue for security reasons, checking-in baggage, finding your gate, dealing with the overstimulation of being around hundreds of passengers and finally, seating on a less comfortable chair.

Passengers are exposed to germs

Due to the advancement of technology and new inventions, the plane’s air filtration system is now capable to filter out germs and viruses. That is the main reason why it is recommended to open your air vents as you travel. However, it has a limitation, since passengers are still exposed to germs and viruses from the people that they’ve meet or from the things that they touch.

Here are some ways on how to prevent the said sleep disturbance:

Take your vitamins

The best supplements to take if you’re flying are Vitamins B and C. B12 helps boost one’s mood and in increasing red blood cell formation, and most importantly, gives passenger energy while Vitamin C is in-charge of boosting one’s immune system and helps fight sickness caused by either viruses or bacteria.

Avoid fatty foods, eat the healthy one

To avoid being in an uncomfortable spot, be sure to avoid greasy foods or anything that can make your gas worse since it may result in a bloated belly. It is suggested to bring with you a healthy snack like energy bites, gluten-free nut blends, fruits or vegetables that can help your body stay hydrated and energized.

Drink water instead of alcohol and those with caffeine

The best thing to do or cure one’s jet lag is to hydrate and drinking water is the most efficient way of doing that. Be sure to avoid dehydrating beverages like caffeine or alcohol.

Get moving

To keep your blood flowing and get oxygen to your brain, it is suggested to move a little bit around the cabin every 30 minutes. This is one way to fight fatigue, swelling, and also reduce the risk of having serious health concerns that come with sitting for too long on flights such as vein thrombosis.

Relieve pressure

To relieve pressure, try popping your ears during take-off or landing. Also, yawning, swallowing, and sucking on a piece of hard candy can help in opening one’s inner ears. This way will not only reduce headache-inducing pressure but can also stave off motion and altitude sickness through helping your body to equalize and restore balance. If you can invest in noise-canceling headphones, that would be better. You can also bring a good travel pillow; it can add comfort on your flight.