Time Zone Changes for insulin usersLong journeys often cross several time zones, so a regular 24-hour day can be extended or shortened, depending on the direction of travel. Either way, you’ll have to adjust your insulin schedule accordingly. Blood glucose control can be upset by a change in time, altered activity, or disturbance of body rhythm and sleep patterns.
While travelling, keeping your blood glucose close to target levels can be a challenge. Here are some guidelines:
- When travelling east, your travel day will be shorter. If you lose more than two hours, you may need to take fewer units of intermediate or long-acting insulin.
- When travelling west, your travel day will be longer. If you gain more than two hours, you may need to take extra units of short-acting insulin and more food.
- You can change the time of your injections and meals by up to two hours in a day without adjusting your insulin dose or your meal plan.
- Follow your usual meal plan as closely as possible.
- If you are crossing more than two time zones, you will need to prepare a meal and insulin schedule with your doctor or diabetes educator.