What jet lag feels like?

Ah, jet lag – the after-effects of a long flight. You can feel like a zombie or an insomniac at any time during your trip. No matter how many times you have traveled, jet lag never gets better. Please be warned that this article may contain some hyperbole.

The Basics

Jet lag is when traveling from one time zone to another interrupt your sleep-wake cycle in illogical ways (which doesn’t make sense if you think about it). It affects business travelers who must work on arrival, holidaymakers trying to enjoy their break and even professional athletes competing across countries.

It’s when we cross multiple time zones within a short period and our circadian rhythms are disrupted making us sleepy in the day or enjoying nightlife since tiredness keeps us up.

The symptoms include fatigue, insomnia (or suddenly wanting to nap), sinus problems (since pressurized cabins influence air cavities), hunger at bizarre times and headaches which can cause head spinning (figuratively speaking of course).

Before & After Flying

Pre-Flight excitement!!

Luggage packed? Check! Boarding pass printed? Check! Arriving early for passport control with an admiring smile towards the officer… check!

But wait…

Our journey starts with stress; delays and confusion leave us running around airports looking for terminal signs while trying not to panic as they make impulsive purchases at duty-free shops even though money is tight because let’s face it who travels abroad without going bankrupt?

Budgeting out luxuries due to hidden airport charges such as purchase tax leaves people using only guilt-free services until boarding such as $5 coffee fresher than most restaurant-brewed pallet of pleasantries.

In contrast, those with unlimited funds incur unnecessary spending partially down as boredom relief seeing “luxury” chocolates enjoyed alike by all soon after takeoff despite the differences in the cash.

The Flight

People don’t sit still on planes, it’s not enjoyable! But sleep is essential for most of us.

The constant drone engine sounds may either make you sleepy or anxious wondering if engines are about to fail; either way, being jolted awake when neighboring passengers move can be unnerving (to say the least).

On top of this, small spaces and other airplane annoyances like crying infants force unwanted attention shifts entirely from our planned activities meaning library books go unread as consciousness quickly departs

Pre-pandemic times would have seen comfortable seating and other comforts like free Wi-Fi access added cost. Now all that’s available are food packages limited so that health-conscious folks must resort to bringing their own custom-made turkey sandwich while simultaneously hiding pickles since they cause a lot of tingling sensations inside mouths forming much embarrassment; well….unless it was intentional.

During Jet Lag

Insomnia at Night Falls:

After arriving with equal parts enthusiasm and tiredness, we expect restful nights before busy days begin but Nope!

Sleeping suddenly becomes unbearable due to time setbacks (or setups) leaving us wide-eyed through sunset & sunrise along with every hour in between.

Countless sheep numbers reach 4 digits until morning alarm reminding sleepyheads its time to play “pretend having energy” game.

Craving Breakfast Pizzas:

Lack of hunger in sync desires working folk wake up craving breakfast pizza whilst vacationers demand bottomless mimosas no matter where they are – cafes or bars anything will do – welcome champagne lifestyle!

First meals attempting normalcy make them feel worse: appetites abound because nothing tastes great as expected since taste buds remain shaken by altitude fluctuations &
possible cold caught during travel too which doesn’t help anyone. Mimosa-induced headaches compound discomfort – thinking going sober isn’t easy considering continued temptation…. but why?

Re-establishing Sleep Patterns

Inconsistently Timed Snoozes

Jet-lagged experience is just you living numerous life roles in very random order. It mimics charactership structure of Tarantino’s and Christopher Nolan films.

Suddenly there’s a deep need to nap, however likely catching 40 winks at lunch won’t guarantee energy-fill up since awakening leaves heads spinning (although not as bad as the movie shared namesake).

Alternatively, why sleep early? Can’t become nocturnal being human beings with work that starts before Midday hence deliberately staying awake is preferred until evening where can proceed dropping off like usual without feeling obliged too (hoping one less alarm clock will ease things)!

Coping Strategies

What to Do?

“There’s a Remedy for Every Malady,” they say… but we beg to differ! (ironically speaking, of course)

A dose of melatonin pills help some individuals lead into slumber fast…while others may tolerate chugging “Recovery Shake” opting against more conventional choices such as caffeine or sleeping tablets

It must be noted – remedies are person-dependent & advise checking with medical experts on appropriate remedies since suggestions vary and personal care remains important.

Some might find getting out in natural light helps while sticking firm routines ending game nights before midnight allows them reset their biological clocks without much interruption.


Jet Lag hits differently depending upon so many factors including each trip or journey taken resulting in unique experiences demanding innovative coping mechanisms thereafter.

It’s never truly possible anticipating or successfully averting jet lag entirely, so perfect solution still evades us all (much unfortunately),and it seamlessly occurs every time regardless of how hard we try avoiding it.

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