FAQ Jet Lag

What is the Biological Clock?

What is Jet Lag? 

Jet lag is a condition that causes sleep problems, tiredness, and other symptoms. It happens in people who fly across several time zones, especially when they fly east. The more time zones a person crosses, the more likely he or she is to get jet lag.

Jet lag gets better on its own as a person adjusts to the new time zone. But this can take several days. The farther from home a person is, the longer it takes to get over jet lag.

What are the Symptoms of Jet Lag?

The symptoms include:

Sleep problems, such as problems falling or staying asleep.

Feeling tired or sleepy in the daytime.

Having trouble thinking, concentrating, or doing normal activities.

Stomach problems, such as constipation.

Feeling sick or having less energy than normal.

How Long does it take to Recover from Jet Lag?

That’s because it can take up to a day for each time zone crossed for your body to adjust to the local time. If you’re traveling east to west, from Rome to San Francisco, jet lag could last four to five days — about half the number of time zones crossed.

How do you use Melatonin for Jet Lag?

A supplement called “melatonin” can help with sleep problems from jet lag when you fly east. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally made by a gland in the brain. Taking extra melatonin can help your body adjust to a new time zone. You can buy melatonin pills in a store or pharmacy without a prescription. The usual dose is 5 milligrams after dark each night, about half an hour before you want to go to sleep.

If you want to try melatonin, tell your doctor or nurse. He or she can tell you if it is safe for you. If you take warfarin (brand names: Coumadin, Jantoven) or medicine to help with epilepsy, melatonin might not be safe for you. Tell your doctor or nurse about all medicines and supplements you take, including over-the-counter medicines.

You should start taking melatonin the night you arrive, at bedtime. You can take melatonin for up to 5 nights in the new time zone. After that, you are not likely to need it.

Only adults should take melatonin. Doctors don’t know if it helps with jet lag in children. Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking melatonin.

Should I see a Doctor ?

If you think you had jet lag in the past, talk to your doctor or nurse before going on a long airline flight. He or she can help you figure out ways to avoid jet lag.


Does Melatonin Cause Side Effects?

Some people have side effects from melatonin. These can include:

Feeling sleepy in the daytime.

Dizziness or confusion.


Loss of appetite, nausea, and other stomach problems.

But these side effects are very similar to jet lag. So, doctors are not sure if they are really side effects of melatonin or just jet lag symptoms.


What is the Meaning of Jet Lagged?

Medical Definition of jet lag: a condition that is characterized by various psychological and physiological effects (as fatigue and irritability), occurs following long flight through several time zones, and probably results from disruption of circadian rhythms in the human body — called also jet fatigue.

Do Babies get Jet Lag?

Babies and young children suffer from jet lag just as adults do. Traveling across time zones disrupts your sleeping, waking, and eating cycles. Any trip you take with more than a two-hour time change forces your body to adjust to a new schedule. Put your child to sleep at the new location’s bedtime.

How can I get over Jet Lag?