Circadian Rhythm Disorders III

Tracey L. Sletten and Josephine Arendt

in The Oxford Handbook of Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195376203
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Circadian Rhythm Disorders III

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Jet lag is a recognized circadian rhythm disorder characterized by nighttime insomnia, daytime sleepiness, gastrointestinal complaints, and poor mood following rapid travel across multiple time zones. Jet lag manifests from desynchronization between internal rhythms and external time cues. The symptoms often remain for several days until the body clock adjusts to the new time zone. The time taken for adjustment depends on several factors, including the number of time zones crossed, the direction of travel, the availability and intensity of time cues, and individual differences. Depending on the duration of stay in the new time zone, numerous strategies can be employed to increase the rate of adaptation of the circadian clock and thereby minimize jet lag symptomology. Timed light exposure, light avoidance, and administration of exogenous melatonin are effective methods to hasten adaptation. Adaptation prior to flight is particularly beneficial in avoiding jet lag.

Keywords: Jet lag; circadian rhythm; sleep; circadian desynchronization; melatonin; light

Article.  15329 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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