Jet lag

Jet lag is a phenomenon that is fairly recent to the human experience. We will look at the definition of the compound word jet lag, where the term comes from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Jet lag describes the physical sensations and consequences felt by someone who has rapidly traveled across time zones in a short period of time. Also referred to as desynchronosis, the symptoms of jet lag include sleep disorders, headaches, irritability, exhaustion, decline in mental function and digestive function. Many doctors believe that it takes one day for every time zone crossed in order to recover from jet lag. Prior to the invention of the airplane and the jet, travel proceeded in a slow fashion, allowing the human body to gradually adjust to time changes. Note that jet lag only occurs when traveling in an east-west direction. Jet lag was not a problem until air travel became common, especially trans-oceanic travel, in the 1960s. Originally, jet lag was known as Time Zone Syndrome and was first studied by the American FAA in 1965. The first known use of the term jet lag was in an article written by Horace Sutton and published by The Los Angeles Times in 1966. At that time, jet lag was considered a problem of the rich, who were primarily the people who could afford overseas flights, as well as flight personnel.


The findings could ultimately reveal new membrane drug targets for jet lag and sleep disorders. (The Daily Mail)

For holiday travelers flying from coast to coast or overseas, recovering from the symptoms of jet lag—fatigue, insomnia, digestive upsets, and headaches—can consume a day or two of precious vacation time. (Harvard Health Publications)

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