Why do we get jetlag? © Getty Images

Why do we get jetlag?

It's probably not a good idea to binge on in-flight entertainment.

Asked by: Anonymous


It’s partly because of time differences. If I fly from London to Tokyo, taking off at 6pm, I will arrive around 6am the following day by my watch. But the local time is 2pm (3pm during British Summer Time). If I try to follow the local schedule, I should go to have lunch instead of breakfast and go to bed when my body thinks it’s only the afternoon. Alternatively, if I stick to the rhythm of my body clock, I will end up trying to stay up until around 7am and then sleep through the bright, noisy day.

But time differences are only part of the story. That flight took 12 hours, and even flying business class, most of us don’t eat, sleep or relax terribly well cooped up on a plane. Long-haul flights not only maximise the time difference, they also ensure that we arrive tired to begin with.


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