Jet lag: trends and coping strategies

Lancet. 2007 Mar 31;369(9567):1117-29. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60529-7.


The number of travellers undertaking long-distance flights has continued to increase. Such flights are associated with travel fatigue and jet lag, the symptoms of which are considered here, along with their similarities, differences, and causes. Difficulties with jet lag because of sleep loss and decreased performance are emphasised. Since jet lag is caused mainly by inappropriate timing of the body clock in the new time zone, the pertinent properties of the body clock are outlined, with a description of how the body clock can be adjusted. The methods, both pharmacological and behavioural, that have been used to alleviate the negative results of time-zone transitions, are reviewed. The results form the rationale for advice to travellers flying in different directions and crossing several time zones. Finally, there is an account of the main problems that remain unresolved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Jet Lag Syndrome* / classification
  • Jet Lag Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Jet Lag Syndrome* / prevention & control
  • Melatonin / metabolism*
  • Melatonin / physiology
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Melatonin