By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many of us are about to travel in the next week to see relatives or just get away. One of the major issues that some will deal with is jet lag.

Symptoms include delayed sleep onset, poor performance at physical and mental tasks, irritability, fatigue and headache. The symptoms also seem to affect older people more than those who are younger. Eastward journeys are worse than westward.

An area of the brain commonly referred to as the body clock is located in what is called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It controls temperature and hormonal levels, and it’s sensitive to these changes.

One of the best tips I have seen is advising people who are staying at a location for less than three days to remain on their home time and maintain eating and sleeping patterns. It can definitely help, as can gentle exercise.

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