Flying across multiple time zones disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm, leading to sleep problems and other symptoms which fall under the condition known as “jet lag.”
Symptoms often include insomnia, waking early, excessive sleepiness, headaches, irritability, digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea, muscle aches, and difficulty concentrating. Younger travelers and female travelers are more susceptible to jet lag, while some travelers are not affected much.
As a general guideline, the recovery rate from jet lag is one day per time zone traveled. So if you live in New York (seven hours behind Kenya), it could take you as long as seven days to fully recover from the jet lag.
To recover from jet lag
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight
- Try to sleep on the plane if it’s nighttime in Kenya
- Adjust to the local day/night schedule immediately
- Try not to sleep until nighttime in Kenya, no matter how tired you are
- Exercise daily (during daylight hours, especially early morning)
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol