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Jet Lag

Jet Lag

Condition Explained

Jet Lag is the feeling of your body’s” internal clock” adjusting to a new time zone. It occurs after you travel across several time zones by plane causing an abrupt change to your sleeping pattern. It usually improves within a few days as your body adjusts to the new time zone.


The main symptoms of jet lag are:

  • Difficulty sleeping at bedtime and waking up in the morning

  • Tiredness and exhaustion

  • Difficulty staying awake during the day

  • Poor sleep quality

  • Concentration and memory problems

Jet lag can also sometimes cause indigestion, feeling sick (nausea), constipation, changes in appetite and mild anxiety.


Treatment for jet lag

Medicines are not usually needed for jet lag.

Jet lag often improves after a few days as your body clock adjusts to the new time zone.

Sleeping tablets may be helpful if you're having problems sleeping (insomnia). But they can be addictive so should only be used for a short time and if symptoms are severe.

Melatonin is a natural hormone released by the body in the evening to let your brain know it's time to sleep.

Melatonin tablets are not recommended on the NHS for jet lag because there's not enough evidence to show they work.

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