When you return home from a long trip across several times zones, it’s normal to feel like you’re dragging through the day. But what about other symptoms that pop up?

We got this email from a viewer:

I just returned from a trip overseas. I noticed on my first day home that I was a lot hungrier than usual. Is this just because I ate more on vacation than I usually do? Or is it related to jet lag?



When you travel across multiple time zones, you experience a hormonal disruption— your days and nights have shifted, and you aren’t getting the same amount of sleep you usually do. This can throw off your circadian rhythm and not only make you more tired and irritable, but it can also affect your hunger levels.

For more on what’s going on and how to avoid jet lag-related hunger, we checked in with an expert:

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The more sleep-deprived a person is, the higher their level of ghrelin and the lower their level of leptin becomes. This imbalance can make the person feel more hungry at certain times or less hungry at other times, said Michael Breus, Ph.D., the author of “The Power of When.”

“Don’t forget, our stomachs are on a circadian rhythm, so wherever our body used to be is where our stomachs once were,” he said. “This would make sense as to why it would be difficult when you get home to eat.”

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