Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  1995 Dec;2(2):146-155.

The Changes of Traveller's Sleep-Wake Cycles by Jet Lag

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


Jet lag can be defined as the cumulative physiological and psychological effects of rapid air travel across multiple time zone. The consequences of jet lag include fatigue, general malaise, sleep disturbances, and reductions of cognitive and psychomotor performance, all of which have been documented in experimental biological and air crew personnel studies. Thus authors tried to study the jet lag of natural travellers by modified self reporting sleep log. Total 61 healthy travellers was studied for 3 days before and 7 days after jet-flights across seven to ten time zone. The eastbound travelling group was 38 persons, aged 19-70 and westbound travelling group was 23 persons, aged 13-69. Sleep onset time, wake-up time, sleep latency, awakening frequency on night sleep, awakening duration on night sleep, sleepiness at wake-up and nap length were evaluated. Our results suggested that the 7 to 10 time zone shift gave significant influence to traveller's sleep-wake cycles. The date which subjective physical condition was recovered on was 5.16+/-1.50 day after arrivals for eastbound, while for westbound, 4.91+/-1.62 day. In eastbound travelling, sleep onset time became later than baselines and could not recover until 7th day. But in westbound, it became earlier than baseline and could recover until 6th day. The mean score of 24-hour sleepiness was greater in eastbound than westbound. Therfore the eastbound travelling caused more sleep-wake cycle disturbance and daytime dysfunction than westbound travelling. In other parameters, there was no definite difference between east and westbound. From our results, it was suggested that the symptom severity of jet lag was dependent on the travelling direction. To demonstrate more definite evidence, large sized data collections and comparision by age difference were needed.


Jet lag; Traveller; Sleep-wake cycles
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