Jet lag disorder : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


 What is jet lag?

Jet lag is a temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone who travels across multiple time zones.

Your body has its own internal clock that tells it when to stay awake and when to sleep Jet lag occurs because your body's clock is still synced to the time zone where you originally lived instead of the time zone where you are traveling The more time zones crossed the more jet lag symptoms will be experienced You will likely experience jet lag.

What is jet lag?
is jet lag

Jet lag can cause fatigue and unwellness as well as gastrointestinal problems Jet lag is temporary but it can significantly reduce your vacation or business travel comfort Fortunately there are steps you can take to help prevent or minimize jet lag.

  1. Nervous system

Medical terms

Jet lag describes not unusual place sleep problems (including insomnia) and different signs humans revel in after traveling a protracted distance quickly. When you tour longer than  time zones through the plane, your frame’s “inner clock” (or circadian rhythm) desires time to regulate to the brand new sleep and wake cycles at your destination. Jet lag is a form of circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

Circadian rhythms are styles your frame follows primarily based totally on a 24-hour day. These rhythms inform your frame whilst to sleep and whilst to wake up. They additionally have an effect on numerous different frame processes, including your hormones, digestion and frame temperature.

Your frame units those rhythms naturally, guided through your mind. But out of doors factors (including mild) can have an effect on those rhythms, too. For example, whilst mild enters your eye, cells send a message on your mind that it is able to prevent generating melatonin (a hormone that allows you sleep).

  1. Jet lag is a physiological condition that is caused by an abrupt change in time zones. It is typically characterized by extreme fatigue and disorientation, which can be greatly disabling to a person’s daily activities. Symptoms of jet lag may include insomnia, fatigue, reduced concentration, headaches, irritability, and gastrointestinal issues. Jet lag can be both prevented and managed with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol and eating light meals when traveling.

  2. Jet lag is a feeling of tiredness and disorientation experienced after traveling across multiple time zones. It is caused by the body’s inability to quickly adjust to a new time zone, which creates a disruption in the regular sleep-wake cycle. Symptoms may include fatigue, a decrease in energy level, and difficulty concentrating. In addition, jet lag can also cause digestive problems, changes in mood, and headaches.

Symptoms Jet lag disorder

You may experience only one symptom or you may have many symptoms of jet lag Symptoms of jet lag can include:

  • Insomnia and excessive sleepiness are symptoms of a disrupted sleep cycle

  • Daytime fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating or functioning at your usual level

  • Stomach problems can be caused by constipation or diarrhea

  • A general feeling of not being well

  • Mood changes

Symptoms worse the farther you travel

Jet lag symptoms usually occur within a day or two of travel if you've traveled across at least two time zones Symptoms are likely to be worse or last longer the more time zones that you've crossed Especially if you travel in an easterly direction it takes about a day to recover for each time zone crossed

When to see a doctor

Jet lag is temporary If you are a frequent traveler and continually struggle with jet lag you may benefit from seeing a sleep specialist

Causes Jet lag disorder

Jet lag usually happens after you go plane 2 or longer zones away. tiredness symptoms result from your body’s natural rhythms being out of sync with the day- and nighttime hours of your destination.

 Plane travel makes jet lag worse as a result of your body moving a lot quicker than your brain and unit of time rhythms will method the time change. alternative aspects of travel can

also contribute to jet lag and may make symptoms worse:also contribute to jet lag and may make symptoms worse:

  • Long periods of sitting on a plane.

  • Lack of oxygen and decreased air pressure in the airplane cabin.

  • Warm cabin temperature and low humidity, which can cause dehydration.

A disruption to your circadian rhythms

Jet lag can occur at any time you cross two or more time zones Jet lag occurs because crossing multiple time zones puts your internal clock out of sync with the time in your new locale

For example if you leave New York at 4pm on Tuesday and arrive in Paris at 7 a.m Wednesday your internal clock thinks it's 1 a.m That means you're ready for bed just as Parisians are waking up

And because it takes a few days for your body to adjust your sleep-wake cycle along with most other body functions such as hunger and bowel habits remains out of sync with the rest of Paris

The influence of sunlight

Sunlight affects the regulation of melatonin a hormone that helps synchronize cells throughout the body

Certain cells in the tissue at the back of your eye (the retina) send signals to an area of your brain called the hypothalamus

When the light signal is low the hypothalamus tells the pineal gland to release melatonin During daylight hours the pineal gland releases very little melatonin

You may be able to adjust to your new time zone by exposing yourself to daylight in the new time zone so long as the timing of light is done properly

Airline cabin pressure and atmosphere

Some research suggests that changes in cabin pressure and high altitudes associated with air travel may contribute to some symptoms of jet lag regardless of travel across time zones

In addition humidity levels are low in planes If you do not drink enough water during your flight you can become slightly dehydrated Dehydration may also contribute to some symptoms of jet lag

Risk factors Jet lag disorder

Factors that increase the likelihood you'll experience jet lag include:

  • Number of time zones crossed.cut the leaves into small pieces

  • Flying east.It may be harder to fly east when you lose time than it is to fly west when you gain time

  • Being a frequent flyer.Pilots flight attendants and business travelers are most likely to experience jet lag

  • Being an older adult.Older adults may need more time to recover from jet lag than do younger adults

Complications Jet lag disorder

Driving while tired is more likely in people who are jet-lagged

Prevention Jet lag disorder

Do not travel when you feel tired or cranky Take a break from the trip and sleep for a few hours When traveling try to keep your schedule as consistent as possible

  • Arrive early.If you have an important meeting or other event that requires you to be in top form try to arrive a few days early so your body can adjust

  • Get plenty of rest before your trip.Being sleep-deprived before you travel makes jet lag worse

  • Before you leave gradually adjust your scheduleIf you're traveling east try going to bed an hour earlier each night for a few days before your departure Go to bed an hour later for several nights if you're flying west If possible eat meals closer to the time you'll be eating them at your destination

  • Regulate bright light exposure.Because light exposure is one of the prime influences on your body's circadian rhythm adjusting to a new location may help you adjust to your new schedule

    If you have traveled more than eight time zones from your original time zone your body might think it is morning when it is actually evening Your body might also think it is evening when it is actually morningIf you have traveled more than eight time zones to the east wear sunglasses Don't expose yourself to bright light in the morning and then allow as much sunlight as possible in the late afternoon for at least three days in your new locationIf you have traveled more than eight time zones westward avoid sunlight for a few hours before dark for the first few days to adjust to your new time zone

  • Stay on your new schedule.Set your watch to the new time before you leave Once you reach your destination do not sleep until the local nighttime Try to time your meals with local times as well

  • Stay hydrated.Drink plenty of water before during and after your flight to counteract the dehydrating effects of dry cabin air Dehydration can make jet lag symptoms worse Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these can dehydrate you and affect your sleep

  • If it is nighttime at your destination try to sleep on the planeIf you're going to be at a noisy place such as a concert or football game wear earplugs and an eye mask If it's daytime where you are going resist the urge to sleep

jet lag anxiety disorders

Jet lag is the temporary feeling of confusion and uneasiness that occurs when you travel to a new time zone The symptoms include loss of appetite trouble sleeping fatigue and anxiety Jet lag may last for days after your trip or only hours if you are traveling east Flying west generally causes less jet lag than flying east because it takes less time to recover from an overtime shift in the previous day You can avoid jet lag by adjusting your body clock gradually before leaving on a trip.

How long does it take to recover from jet lag?

The length of time it takes to recover from jet lag depends on that person's age overall health and the distance they traveled The more time zones one crosses the longer it will take to adjust Travelers have told us their sleep patterns took anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks to shift back into normal rhythms after traveling long distances with multiple time zone changes.

What is the best cure for jet lag?

Drink plenty of water To prevent dehydration drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day while you are traveling in a plane or car Avoid alcohol and caffeine during the first 24 hours of your travel to help prevent dehydration as well When drinking coffee or tea be sure to add lots of milk to reduce the stimulating effects on your system.

Diagnosis Jet lag disorder

Treatment Jet lag disorder

Jet lag is generally temporary and usually does not need treatment Symptoms often improve within a few days though they sometimes last longer

However if you are a frequent traveler and your doctor has told you to go on vacation he or she may prescribe light therapy or medications to help you adjust

Light therapy

You're body clock is influenced by your exposure to sunlight and other factors When you travel across time zones your body must adjust to a new daylight schedule and reset allowing you to fall asleep at the appropriate times

Your doctor may recommend light therapy This involves exposure to an artificial bright light or lamp that simulates sunlight for a specific and regular amount of time when you're meant to be awake Light therapy comes in a variety of forms including a light box which sits on a table and a desk lamp or a light visor that you wear on your head

Light therapy may be useful for example if you are a business traveler who is often away from natural sunlight during the day in a new time zone


  • Nonbenzodiazepines,These are sleep medications like Ambien and Lunesta

  • Benzodiazepines,These are tranquilizers These include drugs like Restoril and Nayzilam

These medications — sometimes called sleeping pills — may help you sleep during the flight and for several nights afterward Side effects are uncommon but they may include nausea vomiting amnesia sleepwalking confusion and morning sleepiness

Although these medications appear to help sleep durations and quality they may not lessen daytime symptoms of jet lag These medications are usually only recommended for people who haven't been helped by other treatments

  1. Child medical and psychological care
  2. Psychological rehabilitation
  3. Rehabilitation of The Brain and Nerves

Lifestyle and home remedies

Sunlight resets the internal clock It is the most powerful natural tool for regulating the sleep-wake cycle

Traveling eastward in the morning can usually help you adjust to an earlier time zone Traveling westward in the evening helps you adjust to a later time zone Plan ahead to determine the best times for light exposure based on your departure and destination points and overall sleep patterns The plants will need to be watered fertilized and cared for

  • Before your trip. You can start light therapy up to three days before travel to help you adjust to your new time zone before you arrive at your destination If you are traveling east try waking one hour earlier than usual and get at least one hour of light exposure daily until you arrive You should wake up one hour earlier each day to make your trip You should also adjust your bedtime to one hour earlier each night if possible For westward travel delay your wake and bedtimes by one hour

  • At your destination. If you have traveled eastward and crossed three to five time zones it's best to avoid bright sunlight in the morning If you're crossing more time zones or traveling west avoid bright light the morning of arrival You need to protect your eyes from the sun when you are outside during the day You can use dark glasses or drapes or a sleep mask to avoid light exposure As you get used to the time of day you will gradually shift your exposure earlier and earlier each day

Exposing yourself to light may help you adapt to the new time faster


Drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee and soft drinks can help to offset daytime sleepiness Choose caffeinated beverages wisely since drinking them after midday may make it even more difficult to fall asleep or sleep well

Alternative medicine


Melatonin has been widely studied and it is now a commonly accepted part of effective jet lag treatment The latest research suggests that melatonin aids sleep during times when you wouldn't normally be resting making it beneficial for people with jet lag lag

Your body treats the hormone melatonin as a light signal so it has the opposite effect of bright light

Taking melatonin at a time that is appropriate for you is important If you are trying to reset your body clock to an earlier time such as after flying east take melatonin at bedtime nightly until you have adapted to local time If you are trying to reset your body clock to a later time such as after traveling west do not take melatonin at bedtime Melatonin is taken in the morning to help you sleep

Melatonin is usually taken 30 minutes before bedtime Small doses of melatonin seem just as effective as larger doses although higher doses have been shown to be more effective If you are taking melatonin ask your doctor about the proper timing

Do not drink alcohol when taking melatonin Side effects are uncommon but may include dizziness headaches daytime sleepiness loss of appetite and possibly nausea and disorientation

Additional possible remedies

Some people use exercise to try to ease the effects of jet lag

If you want to try an alternative therapy such as an herbal supplement check with your doctor first Some therapies may interact with other medications or cause side effects

General summary

  • Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that occurs when your body's internal clock or circadian rhythm becomes misaligned with the external time zone you've entered This happens when you cross multiple time zones rapidly and your body doesn't get enough time to adjust Jet lag can also occur during eastbound travel if you have an unusually long stopover Although jet lag symptoms are temporary they can range from moderate to severe discomfort making it critical for travelers to follow best-practice strategies before during and after flying.

  • is the most common form of jet lag Jet lag disorder is the most common form of jet lag and occurs when you travel across more than two time zones If you change time zones within a country such as when driving from New York to Florida this is not considered jet lag because it involves only one time zone change Jet lag disorder can make traveling and functioning during waking hours difficult for up to several days after your trip begins or ends It generally gets worse with each additional time zone crossed while flying or with each 12 hours of eastward or westward travel on land that crosses multiple time zones until finally your body adjusts.

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