Jet lag is a combination of fatigue and other symptoms caused by travelling abruptly across different time zones. Travelling to a different time zone disrupts the circadian rhythm. And it can take many days to readjust to the new time zone. In fact, NASA estimates that you'll need one day for every one-hour time zone crossed to get back to your normal rhythm and energy levels. So a five hour time difference means that you'll need five days to get back to normal. There is no cure for jet lag, but its effects (memory lapses, irritability, digestive upsets,...) can be reduced with careful planning.
Flying east or west makes a difference. Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is less confused if you travel westward. This is because travelling west ‘prolongs’ the body clock’s experience of its normal day–night
cycle. Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the body clock.
There is no evidence that popular strategies, such as fasting or eating complicated diets, have any effect. Suggestions to reduce the impact of jet lag while travelling include avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks, eating small meals frequently, choosing lighter foods like fruit and vegetables or wearing loose, comfortable clothing.
Some travellers use alcohol to help them get to sleep, but this actually disrupts the normal sleep cycles and can prolong jet lag. The impact of alcohol on the body is 2-3 times more potent when you're flying.
1. Add True or False, quoting the relevant information from the text to justify your answer.
a) On lengthy journeys it is unlikely that any measures will eliminate jet lag.
b) A copious meal before taking a flight is likely to minimize the effect of jet lag.
c) One glass of wine in flight has the effect of 2-3 glasses on the ground.
2. Answer the following questions according to the information given in the text. Use your own words.
a) Why is travelling westward less harmful to our circadian rhythm?
b) Is it possible to know how long it will take to readjust to the new time zone?
3. Complete the following sentences. The meaning should be the same as that of the sentence above.
a) You should not use sleeping tablets during a long haul flight. Sleeping tablets (...)
b) I did not wear an eye mask. I could not sleep during the flight. If I (...)
c) “Drink caffeinated drinks in moderation during the day”, the doctor said to me. The doctor advised(...)
d) The dry air aboard your aircraft can give you headaches and dry your skin. For this reason, you should drink water regularly. Since (...)
4. Write a composition with the following title: Narrate a journey you have been on and the problems that you encountered. (80-120 words)