Lost in time… vacationers

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Long before the desired vacation, we begin to make plans: where will we relax? More and more often we opt for other countries – after all, our “domestic” resorts have been studied far and wide since childhood, but we really want to “see the world”! But often the long-awaited trip turns out to be completely different from what we dreamed of: climate change, someone else’s speech, unusual food, and most importantly, terrible discomfort from changing time zones. This phenomenon even has a name – desynchronosis.

What does it express? For example, from the first day in a distant country, we wanted to join the “cultural program”, but instead we were lying in a room with a headache and a feeling of complete weakness. When we wanted to sleep, the sun rose outside the window; when we woke up – it, as luck would have it, the village. And when everyone around fell asleep, we desperately wanted to eat. And although it usually takes two to three days to rebuild the personal biorhythms of a healthy person, it is very disappointing to lose them when we have only ten to twelve days of vacation at our disposal. Well, if someone already suffers from insomnia, hypertension or hypotension, or is experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome, the “translation of arrows” can be accompanied by poor sleep, irritability, inhibited reflexes and gastrointestinal disorders.

scientists think. Studies have shown that a regime shift of even two to three hours seriously weakens the performance of seemingly well-trained athletes. After analyzing the results of the work of diplomats, businessmen and politicians, chronobiologists noted the negative impact of changing time zones on decisions made by a person who has made a long flight.

But even if we are not athletes, not diplomats, and flew to another continent not for the conclusion of a non-aggression pact or a clever scheme to buy out a controlling stake in Microsoft; anyway, I would like to avoid unpleasant sensations – after all, vacation days are so fleeting, and memories of them warm us for a whole long winter …

Jules Verne, for example, lived in that happy time when you could sail around the world in eighty days and not experience any desynchronosis. Which he did in 1873. Before airplanes were invented, only science fiction writers could carry out a “throw march” across several time zones. In my books. In life, everything was different. Traveling, a person slowly and imperceptibly moved from one time zone to another. It was the advent of jet aircraft that brought an unexpected “side effect”: the rapid movement of a person in space brings biological rhythms out of harmony with the environment and with each other. Desynchronosis is the result of the struggle between the familiar and new time zones for control over the body.

These are the temperature rhythm and the sleep/wake rhythm. During sleep, as you know, body temperature drops. When we want to sleep, the body switches to a different temperature regime. In the case of traveling across time zones, we can arrive at the hotel and thoroughly put ourselves to bed, but if it is noon in Moscow at this time, our body temperature does not allow us to fall asleep: you cannot spend the internal clock ..

A lot depends on this too: usually moving to the east is more painful than to the west. When flying to the west, the human biological clock moves, albeit more slowly, in the same direction as the change in time; and vice versa when flying to the east. So if you want to make a round-the-world trip, please move west. Although there are no rules without exceptions. For example, chronobiology notes: depressed people feel better when they travel east.

This conclusion was reached by English experts P. Jahkhar and M. Weller, who examined several hundred travelers who arrived at the London airport. The phenomenon is explained by the fact that the lack of sleep that is inevitable when flying east and the regime shift improves mood. And also,

Larks, i.e. people who wake up early and fall asleep early have an easier time flying east. But owls are easier to adapt, flying to the west. Chronobiologists also note that sociable extroverts adapt to the “new time” faster and easier, but it is more difficult for introverts who are introverted. There are also age criteria: the older the person, the more time he needs to adapt. And finally: the period of adaptation of pedantic people is very short. What caused this, scientists have not yet understood …

Of course, it would be ideal not to go too far: a difference of one to two hours can be easily experienced almost on the first day. If the plane takes you a long distance, chronobiologists have developed a set of “mitigating measures”:

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