On my recent business travel to the United Kingdom from LA, a 10 hour long-haul flight, I experienced a nasty bout of jet-lag which took me out of action for the entire day. The sleepiness and extreme lethargy ensured that for the entire day my productivity was zero. As grogginess and agitation ensured in my sleepless insomnia I searched around the web for answers. The phenomenon of jet-lag is a widely unspoken topic and today I hope to shed light on the medical condition discussing a couple of solutions.
What causes Jet Lag?
It’s a result of air-travel across time-zones, and is also known as desynchronis flight syndrome characterized by fatigue, insomnia and sleepiness. It is highly similar to sleep disorders like narcolepsy in that it also produces excessive daytime sleepiness.
The symptoms of jet-lag change significantly between people, and the seriousness of the symptoms is related to the amount of time-zones crossed. The most common jet-lag symptoms include:
- Headaches and Back Pain
- Weak stomach
- Irritability/Mood swings
Jet Lag interrupts our own bodies ecosystem of sleep/awake cycling. It originates from extended flights over a variety of time zones. In-fact the potency and prevalence of symptoms highly relates to the number of time zones which you have crossed. Compounding the matter is a newfound lack of ability for sound sleep leading to excruciating headaches and back pain.
In order words jet-lag interrupts our body because travelling directly changes the way our circadian rhythm is set, crossing time-zones will cause a lag-delay and a requirement to adjust to the natural ambient light levels in the new territory. This change in sleep patterns in turn changes our mood and levels of energy because sleep is a complex metabolic process which is essential for health.
Jet-lag is an extremely temporary syndrome however it bares much resemblance to other sleep related disorders such as Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) whereby an irregular work pattern can also interrupt the circadian rythmn and also Narcolepsy in that the daytime sleepiness produced is effectively the same, requiring similar lines of pharmacological treatments. We all have a body clock which tells us when to sleep and when to be awake, this body clock has a cycle which has a duration of 24 hours. Our ‘body clock’ psychologically influences our levels of mental arousal through altering levels of melatonin which is produced inside a special organ in the brain called a Pineal Gland. It typically lasts a couple of days before it self-corrects. Your recovery process depends on the levels of natural light you are in, and also how potent your negative symptoms are.
Although jet lag is not quite as common as other sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, it affects 1 in 2000 folks in the UK alone. With Narcolepsy it can be dangerous if the sleep attacks or sudden control loss occur when they are using any dangerous machinery or driving. This can really cause injury. Luckily jet-lag isn’t as serious as narcolepsy and there are a handful of remedies to treat the symptoms.
Circadian rhythms are made up of two components: the sleep and awake phase. It is a process involving the endocrine system which all humans have and it is effected by ambient levels of light, in particular ultra-violet light coming through your window onto special tissue in your retina. Not everyone gets jet-lag, there are tales of lucky individuals who can quickly and naturally adjust to new environments, but these people seem to be quite rare. For the rest of us we have to rely on remedies.
How is jet-lag cured?
After exposure to light in your new environment your sleep/wake cycle will adopt to the new time zone all by itself. Jet Lag Syndrome isnt a serious condition and it is self-curing, the only problem are the negative symptoms, no matter how temporary they are they can still be irritating or extremely uncomfortable. Here we explore some remedies and solutions for treating jet-lag
Modafinil for jet-lag, really?
Travellers and entrepreneurs are using a smart-drug called Modafinil to treat the daytime sleepiness caused by jetlag, it is said to increase levels of energy and to completely reduce fatigue. Modafinil is a Central Nervous Stimulant (CNS), which stimulates the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems to increase energy and levels of activity. With this stimulation also comes an increase in mood and feelings of well-being. Before Modafinil people would just drink a lot of coffee, but too much coffee causes digestive issues and gives jitters. Modafinil is comparable to caffine in that it is a stimulant drug however unlike coffee Modafinil has a half life of about 12 hours, depending on your body mass.
Modafinil is a different drug than its sister-drug Armodafinil, as Armodafinil is a more potent and refined version of Modafinil. Though essentially working the same inside the body in order to promote wakefulness Armodafinil is generally said to be for the more experience nootropic takers.
As a Neurotic Medication Modafinil is taken to promote levels of wakefulness in people who’s sleep phase has become misaligned due to travel. Changing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain (GABA, Dopamine) between synapses the drug causes stimulating effects. Modafinil was first produced in France my Michael Jouvet, TEVA Pharmaceuticals then acquired the license for the drug and marketed it to treat narcolepsy. The FDA successfully approved their application for the treatment of Narcolepsy and since then there has been numerous research literature on modafinil with other sleep-related disorders and even in the treatment of ADHD/ADD as Concerta.
Buying Modafinil Online
I sourced my Modafinil from afinilexpress.com, I purchased Modalert 200mg (x20) which came to a total of about $56 – which comes to $1.2 dollars per pill. With free shipping and delivery tracking the price and service is outstanding. I was also surprised to see that you could pay for your order in bitcoins, but being a bitcoin novice myself I settled with a credit-card purchase. If you are looking to buy modafinil online then AfinilExpress is my first choice.
If you arent too sure which kind of modafinil you should start with AfinilExpress offer a sample-pack which contains 10 of every product they offer: Modalert (Modafinil by SUN Pharma), Modvigil (Modafinil by HAB Pharma), Artvigil (Armodafinil by HAB Pharma) and Waklert (Armodafinil by SUN Pharma).
Modafinil does not cure jet-lag, it only deals with the negative symptoms namely fatigue. It is not a replacement for sleep. You should also stay well hydrated while on modafinil because jet-lag symptoms will get worse if you are dehydrated.