About This Condition
Jet lag is a disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle triggered by travel across time zones.
Jet lag causes a combination of symptoms, including daytime sleepiness, disorientation, poor concentration, fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, difficulty falling asleep, and frequent waking from sleep. The symptoms can last from a day to a week or longer, depending on the person and the number of time zones crossed.
Doctors usually recommend one to two days of rest or light activity upon arrival to allow for adjustment to the new time zone. Eating and sleeping patterns should be gradually shifted to fit the local time schedule during this period. In addition, medication schedules used for treating health conditions may need to be based on elapsed time rather than a specific time of day dosing.