Jet Lag: From Circadian Alignment to Misalignment in One Day
Your numerous internal body Rhythms have to be in optimal mutual Alignment and Synchrony to preserve your health and wellness. Like on a huge assembly line, each job has to be done exactly on time. Keeping the same pace or Period is the key.
If your Cardiovascular Rhythms are not delivering more oxygen on time, if your Metabolic Rhythms are not increasing energy levels, as planned, if your Sleep Rhythm is out of sync, keeping you awake all night, the list goes on, then your mood and performance will be low and your health will suffer.
Since the 1950s, the Circadian Alignment has been challenged by passenger jets flying over thousands of miles and many time zones in less than a day. With this arrives Jet Lag, an external misalignment. Your internal Clocks suddenly find themselves either way ahead or way behind the local time, and the Sun. They have to dramatically change their pace to quickly realign with the new environment.
To fight Jet Lag, each circadian Rhythm is trying its best to catch up with the Sun. To prevent you from suffering Jet Lag symptoms, the Rhythms should remain Synchronized and Aligned with each other, as one Circadian Team.
The Worst of Jet Lag: From External to Internal Misalignment
To end External Misalignment, your Clocks have to change their Period. They shorten the Period and run faster, if traveling East. They increase their Period and run slower, if traveling West.
Changing the Period is not easy for the Clocks. That is why some of them are better at catching up with the Sun than others. If the Circadian Rhythms stop working as a Team and desynchronize, their Internal Alignment is lost, making you suffer the Jet Lag symptoms.
Different pace of realignment for your individual circadian body rhythms with the environment leads to the internal misalignment. This misalignment creates numerous Jet Lag symptoms and causes long-term health problems. Some of those you can notice, like sleep disruption, while others are causing harm in the shadows.
The nature and duration of Jet Lag that affects your health, sleep and performance depend on which Rhythms remain mutually misaligned and for how long.