What is Jetlag?

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that occurs in travelers traveling through three or more time zones.

It results in a slow adjustment of the biological clock to the time of the destination. As a result, the daily rhythms and internal times for sleeping and waking up are out of sync with the new environment.

The secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland is responsible for establishing the sleep-wake cycle. Its synthesis and liberation are stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light.

Travelers traveling east have difficulty falling asleep at the right time at the destination and having difficulty getting up in the morning.

Travelers traveling west are associated with falling asleep very early and getting up very early. Crossing several time zones or traveling east generally increases the time it takes to adapt.

The older the recovery, the slower.

People suffering from jet lag can experience:

  • Little sleep, delay in bedtime (flight to this) awakening very early (after traveling west), fractional sleep.
  • Poor physical and mental performance.
  • Fatigue, headache, irritability, stress, low concentration, depression.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.


  • Perform exercise.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Rest.
  • Start resetting the biological clock by sleeping 1 to 2 hours later for a few days before the trip if traveling west, or one to two hours earlier if traveling east. It can also be effective if meal times are changed to match those of the travel schedule.
  • Look for exposure to sunlight in the late evening if traveling west, and in the morning if traveling east.

During the journey

  • Avoid heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Drink plenty of water, stay hydrated.
  • Move on the plane to promote physical and mental integrity, as well as protection against deep vein thrombosis.
  • Wear shoes and comfortable clothes.
  • Sleeping, if possible, during long trips.

Upon arrival at the destination

  • Avoid situations that require critical decision-making, such as meetings or meetings on the first day.
  • Adapt to local time as soon as possible.
  • People with diabetes mellitus should adjust their insulin regimen.
  • Optimize sun exposure once you reach your destination.
  • Eat with proper time to local time, drink plenty of water, avoid excess alcohol or caffeine.
  • Eat balanced.
  • Take small naps (20 to 30 min) to increase energy.


  • Feeding.
  • Techniques for water consumption and treatment.
  • Protection against mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Repellents.
  • Cruise travel.

The consultations at the Traveler Clinic are by appointment to the following telephone numbers:

Observatory 5230-8230

Santa Fe 1103-1694


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