Here at Sleepnet, often times we spend so much time focusing on the sleep of our customers that we end up paying less attention to our own. This past week I experienced a fine example of this through one of my coworkers – Jerry. Jerry is one of our engineers, and he just returned from China where he spent the past few weeks developing a prototype for a new mask. Upon returning to Sleepnet Headquarters in Hampton, New Hampshire, Jerry experienced a common sleep phenomenon known as Jet Lag.
This phenomenon occurs when we travel across a large span of time-zones, throwing off our body’s biological clock, known as our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm determines processes key for sleep such as the rise and fall of body temperature, and the production and release of certain hormones that tell the body when it is time for rest, and when it is time to be awake. People who have experience with international travel may be all too familiar with jet lag, which can act as a temporary sleep disorder by disrupting our natural circadian rhythm, tricking the body into thinking it should be asleep during the middle of the day, or awake late at night.
The best way to avoid jet lag is to prepare for your trips by slightly augmenting your sleep schedule a few days prior to traveling. This will make the transition to a new time-zone more fluid, allowing you to make the most of your travels, whether they be for business or pleasure.