National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 5: Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

Etiology/Risk Factors

What is the etiology of Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a temporary condition, with symptoms beginning after air travel across at least two time zones.73

Severity of severity is dependent on the number of time zones traveled, the direction of travel (i.e., east vs. west), and individual differences. Symptoms dissipate as the circadian clock gradually adjusts to the new, local time.74


73. Sack RL. Shift work and jet lag. In: Lee-Chiong TL, Sateia MJ, Carskadon MA, eds. Sleep Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa: Hanley and Belfus; 2002:255-263.

74. Drake CL, Wright KP, “Shift Work, Shift-Work Disorder, and Jet Lag,” in In Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W (ed.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (5th Edition), St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pages 784-798