Jet lag prevention
Jet lag is a sleep disorder caused by traveling across different time zones. Jet lag occurs when your body’s biological clock is not set with the time zone you are in.
Circadian rhythm sleep disturbances; Jet lag disorder
Your body follows a 24-hour internal clock called a circadian rhythm. It tells your body when to go to sleep and when to wake up. Cues from your environment, such as when the sun rises and sets, help set this internal clock.
When you pass through different time zones, it can take your body a few days to adjust to the different time.
You may feel like it is time to go to bed several hours before bedtime. The more time zones you pass through, the worse your jet lag can be. Also, traveling east can be harder to adjust to because you lose time.
Symptoms of jet lag include:
Before your trip:
While in flight:
Melatonin, a hormone supplement sold at health food stores, may help decrease jet lag. If you will be in flight during the bedtime of your destination, take some melatonin (3 to 5 milligrams) during that time and try to sleep. Then try taking melatonin several hours before bedtime for several days once you arrive.
When you arrive:
Berry RB, Wagner MH. Patients with jet lag. In: Berry RB, Wagner MH, eds. Sleep Medicine Pearls. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap patient 122.
McLellan SLF. Jet lag. In: Keystone JS, Freedman DO, Kozarsky PE, Connor BA, Nothdruft HD, eds. Travel Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 42.