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Jet Lag

Jo Marie C. Hewitt, MD and Sahil Mullick, MD Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Jet lag is a sleep disorder caused by a mismatch between the body’s circadian rhythm and the external environment. It occurs as a result of rapidly crossing several times zones and t...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Symptoms of jet lag include insomnia, daytime sleepiness, GI upset, decreased exercise tolerance, and slowed cognition (3).

  • Symptoms occur after crossing 3 or more time zones.

PHYSICAL EXAM

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Optimal diet, hydration, and rest are key steps in mitigating nonspecific symptoms of travel fatigue in the first 1 to 2 days (3)[C].

  • Overcoming the persistent negative effect...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Symptoms resolve once circadian rhythm realignment has been achieved. 

DIET

  • Dehydration and alcohol use may exacerbate symptoms.

  • Alignment of meal times with the new...

REFERENCES

1
Waterhouse J, Reilly T, Atkinson G, et al. Jet lag: trends and coping strategies. Lancet.  2007;369(9567):1117–1129. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Choy M, Salbu R. Jet lag: current a...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Freedman D, Chen L, Kozarsky P. Medical considerations before international travel. N Engl J Med.  2016;375(3):247–260. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Gamaldo CE, Chung Y, Kang ...

CODES

ICD10

G47.25 Circadian rhythm sleep disorder, jet lag type 

ICD9

327.35 Circadian rhythm sleep disorder, jet lag type 

SNOMED

387604006 Jet lag 

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Jet lag is associated with transmeridian travel and is more pronounced in eastward travel.

  • Circadian realignment takes 2 days for every 3 time zones crossed.

  • Light therapy and melatonin ...

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