Jet lag

BMJ Clin Evid. 2014 Apr 29;2014:2303.


Introduction: Jet lag is a syndrome caused by disruption of the 'body clock', and affects most air travellers crossing five or more time zones; it is worse on eastward than on westward flights.

Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of interventions to prevent or minimise jet lag? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to January 2014 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Results: We found five studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

Conclusions: In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: hypnotics, lifestyle and environmental adaptations, and melatonin.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Jet Lag Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Jet Lag Syndrome / therapy*
  • Life Style*
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use*
  • Safety


  • Antioxidants
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Melatonin