Jet lag: Clinical features, validation of a new syndrome-specific scale, and lack of response to melatonin in a randomized, double-blind trial

Robert L. Spitzer, Michael Terman, Janet B.W. Williams, Jiuan Su Terman, Ulrik F. Malt, Forbes Singer, Alfred J. Lewy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The goals of this study were to validate a new rating scale for measuring severity of jet lag and to compare the efficacy of contrasting melatonin regimens to alleviate jet lag. Method: This was a randomized, double-blind trial of placebo and three alternative regimens of melatonin (5.0 mg at bedtime, 0.5 mg at bedtime, and 0.5 mg taken on a shifting schedule) for jet lag. The subjects were 257 Norwegian physicians who had visited New York for 5 days. Jet lag ratings were made on the day of travel from New York back to Oslo (6 hours eastward) and for the next 6 days in Norway. The main outcome measures were scale and item scores from a new, syndrome-specific instrument, the Columbia Jet Lag Scale, that identifies prominent daytime symptoms of jet lag distress. Results: There was a marked increase in total jet lag score in all four treatment groups on the first day at home, followed by progressive improvement over the next 5 days. However, there were no significant group differences or group-by-time interactions. In addition, there was no group effect for sleep onset, time of awakening, hours slept, or hours napping. Ratings on a summary jet lag item were highly correlated with total jet lag scores (from a low of r=0.54 on the day of travel to a high of r=0.80 on day 3). The internal consistency of the total jet lag score was high on each day of the study. Conclusions: The use of melatonin for preventing jet lag needs further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1396
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume156
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Jet lag: Clinical features, validation of a new syndrome-specific scale, and lack of response to melatonin in a randomized, double-blind trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Spitzer, R. L., Terman, M., Williams, J. B. W., Terman, J. S., Malt, U. F., Singer, F., & Lewy, A. J. (1999). Jet lag: Clinical features, validation of a new syndrome-specific scale, and lack of response to melatonin in a randomized, double-blind trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(9), 1392-1396.