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Wednesday, 6 October 2021

How to How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag

No one likes to deal with jet lag, but it can be hard to avoid if you have to travel. If you're dealing with some frustrating jet lag symptoms, you may be wondering how long they will last. Luckily, this article has the answer to that question and many more. Keep reading so that you can start to feel great again after travelling to another time zone.


[Edit]How long does it take to recover from jet lag?

  1. It usually takes 3-4 days after your flight to recover. Though jet lag symptoms can be pretty uncomfortable, take heart in the fact that they usually don't last very long. Most people start feeling better within 3 days or so.[1]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 1.jpg
    • Recovery may take a bit longer if you traveled from west to east (such as from the United States to Europe). Since eastern time zones are ahead of western time zones, you end up losing quite a few hours once you reach your destination.[2]
    • The more time zones you cross, the more jet lag symptoms you're likely to experience.
    • People that travel across time zones frequently may develop chronic symptoms like insomnia. Chronic symptoms take longer to go away, but there are things you can do to ease them and start to feel better.[3]

[Edit]What causes jet lag?

  1. Jet lag occurs when you travel across time zones and disrupt your sleep. Your body is used to a certain circadian rhythm according to the time zone that you live in. When you travel across 2 or more time zones, your body needs time to adjust.[4] As you get used to the new time zone, you may experience trouble sleeping and waking according to the schedule there, along with other jet lag symptoms.[5]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 2.jpg

[Edit]What are the symptoms of jet lag?

  1. Symptoms include fatigue, poor concentration, and sleep disturbances. It can be tough to fall asleep if you have jet lag; you may also struggle to wake up. Many people also experience symptoms like nausea, constipation, dizziness, and a change in appetite.[6]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 3.jpg
    • These symptoms can be upsetting, but they're usually fairly mild.[7]
    • If you suffer from chronic jet lag (flight attendants, pilots, and business people often do because they travel so much), your symptoms may last longer than a few days.[8]

[Edit]How can I get rid of jet lag fast?

  1. Adjust your sleep schedule to the new time zone as soon as possible. If you traveled to a city that's 8 hours ahead, for example, your body may want to go to bed when everyone else is just waking up. Do your best to push through and stay up so that you can sleep well that night.[9]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 4.jpg
    • If you're really struggling, try drinking a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea to stay alert.[10]
  2. Keep yourself hydrated. The dry air in an airplane cabin can make you dehydrated, which can worsen your jet lag symptoms. When you're traveling, try to drink between and of water a day.[11]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 5.jpg
    • Avoid alcohol and limit your caffeine since both can cause dehydration.[12]
  3. Go outside and enjoy a little sunlight. Your body's circadian rhythm is influenced by light. To help your body adjust to a time zone that's later than yours (i.e. when you travel westward), stay in the sunlight into the evening. If you're traveling eastward and want to get used to an earlier time zone, open your blinds and let in the morning light.[13]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 6.jpg
    • If you travel across more than 8 time zones, your body might confuse morning light with dusk and evening light with morning light. In that case, limit your light exposure in the mornings for the first few days using sunglasses and then stay out in the sunlight during the afternoon.

[Edit]What medication can I take for jet lag?

  1. Melatonin is a supplement that can help you fall asleep. Your body naturally produces this hormone in the evening to help you fall asleep. To make sleeping according to another time zone easier, you can take melatonin as a supplement.[14] On the day that you get to your destination, take between 0.5 and 3 mg of melatonin after dark.[15] If it helps, keep taking the same dosage after dark for 2-3 days to help get your body used to your new sleep schedule.[16]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 7.jpg
    • Consult your doctor before taking melatonin if you have epilepsy or if you're currently taking the medication warfarin.
    • Avoid taking too much melatonin! The supplement comes in doses of up to 10 mg and higher, but doctors advise sticking to the 0.5 and 3 mg range. Otherwise, you may feel groggy and have a hard time concentrating the next day.[17]
  2. Sleeping pills can help you fall asleep and manage chronic insomnia. Studies show that sleeping pills like zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta) can ease jet lag symptoms. Since these are stronger medications, you'll need a prescription to use them. Make an appointment with your doctor and ask if sleeping pills would be a good option for you. If they are, your doctor will write a prescription with a specific dosage recommendation.[18]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 8.jpg
    • Side effects of sleeping pills include dizziness, headaches, an upset stomach, and confusion.

[Edit]Does jet lag get worse with age?

  1. Yes, jet lag may get worse as you get older. Older adults and elderly people may have a harder time recovering from jet lag.[19] A study published in the journal Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines found that people who are 60 or older commonly had irregular or lessened melatonin rhythms. As a result, it was harder for people in this age group to fall asleep and get accustomed to a new time zone.[20]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 9.jpg
    • Consider taking 0.5 to 3 mg of melatonin for 2 days before you leave for your trip and 2-3 days after you arrive. This can help you adjust to a new time zone and lessen your jet lag symptoms.
    • Talk to your doctor about taking melatonin if you're concerned about how it will affect you. Always consult your doctor first if you take the medication warfarin or have epilepsy.

[Edit]How can I prevent jet lag?

  1. Change your sleep schedule to match the new time zone ahead of time. You can avoid jet lag by incrementally shifting your sleep schedule to correspond to the time zone of the place you are going to visit. If your destination is 5 hours ahead, for example, try going to bed 1 hour earlier every night in the 5 days leading up to your trip. Make sure to wake up 1 hour earlier as well.[21]
    How Many Days Does It Take to Recover from Jet Lag Step 10.jpg
    • If it's still light out when you're trying to fall asleep, shut the curtains and turn off all the lights to make your bedroom as dark as possible. You can also use a sleep mask to make things extra dark.
    • Invest in a lightbox to help wake you up in the morning if it's still dark outside. These are usually used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder or seasonal depression, but they can also prevent jet lag symptoms.[22]


  • See a sleep specialist or talk to your doctor if you have chronic jet lag. They may prescribe certain medications or lifestyle changes to get your sleep schedule back to normal.[23]


  1. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ug4997
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829880/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829880/
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/jet-lag/
  7. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ug4997
  8. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027
  9. [v161559_b01]. 18 September 2020.
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829880/
  11. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
  12. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12781-jet-lag
  13. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027
  14. [v161559_b01]. 18 September 2020.
  15. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/melatonin-how-much-should-i-take-for-a-good-nights-rest/
  16. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ug4997
  17. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/melatonin-how-much-should-i-take-for-a-good-nights-rest/
  18. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ug4997
  19. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027
  20. https://tdtmvjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40794-017-0054-0
  21. https://time.com/5392876/science-cure-prevent-jet-lag/
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829880/
  23. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027

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