Jet lag is when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight. Symptoms usually improve within a few days as your body adjusts to the new time zone.
Ways to reduce jet lag
Jet lag cannot be prevented, but there are things you can do to reduce its effects.
Before you travel
During your flight
After you arrive
If your trip is short (2 to 3 days) it may be better to stay on "home time".
If possible, eat and sleep at the times you would at home.
There's no treatment for jet lag
Medicines are not usually needed for jet lag.
Symptoms often improve after a few days as your body clock adjusts to the new time zone.
Sleeping tablets may be helpful if you're having problems sleeping (insomnia). They can be addictive so should only be used for a short time and if symptoms are severe.
Melatonin is a chemical released by the body in the evening to let your brain know it's time to sleep. Melatonin supplements are not recommended for jet lag because there is not enough evidence to show they work.
Symptoms of jet lag
The main symptoms are sleep-related. They include:
Jet lag can also be associated with indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.