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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Jet Lag: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Sleep Disorders

Jet Lag

Alternate Names : Time Zone Change Syndrome

Jet Lag | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the condition?

Some measures may help prevent or lessen the severity of jet lag. These include:

  • adjusting the body's internal clock in advance. For instance, people can start adjusting their daily schedules to match the time zones they will travel to before travel takes place. People can set their watches to the new times a day before travel, and begin eating, sleeping, and working as if they were already there.
  • eating light and drinking plenty of fluids. Before the flight, a high-protein, low-calorie meal is advised. The amount of salty and fatty foods eaten should be limited. Dry air during the flight can cause dehydration, so people are advised to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Water is best, and many experienced travelers bring their own bottles of water with them.
  • exercising frequently. Even getting up periodically and walking up and down the aisles of the plane can help, which may be the only exercise possible. Sitting in a cramped airplane seat for an extended time is uncomfortable for everyone. During a stopover, people may want to take a few minutes and leave the plane to go for a brisk walk around the terminal, if possible.
  • getting enough sleep. People may want to try sleeping on the plane or plan to arrive at their destinations in time to catch a nap before starting activities. Mild sedatives or melatonin may help some people get sleep during travel.
  • What are the long-term effects of the condition?

    There are no long term effects.

    What are the risks to others?

    The only risk to others is when a person who is suffering from jet lag becomes unpleasant and uncomfortable to be around. Jet lag is not contagious.

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    Jet Lag: Diagnosis & Tests


    Jet Lag: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: John Riddle
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 08/09/01

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