Any Advice on Adjusting Insulin Doses When Crossing Time Zones?

I’m heading for a wonderful get away to Hawaii and was wondering if anybody had some tips for adjusting insulin doses when traveling across time zones. I figure my pre-meal Novolog isn’t an issue, its my twice daily injection of Levemir that I’m concerned about. I take my Levemir in the morning and before bed time. Since Hawaii time is 6 hours behind east coast time I’m not sure what time I should take my bed time dose when I get there. Any advice?

It shouldn’t be too bad. You can give your shot without much adverse affect within an hour, two if you need it, of when you nromally take your insulin. I take my shot at 9am and 9pm. When I go from EST to PST for work the first day I wake up and take the shot at 7:30 or 8, same in the evening, then the next day I would get back on the 9am and 9 pm PST then you have to do the same way on the way back. The crazy travel is when you cross days like going to Europe or Australia. The I usually have to take a clock or something you won’t change the time on to program an alarm every 12 hours until I get on a reasonable schedule. Again, you have to do the same thing on the way back until your back on your regular schedule. It’s tough, but it works. Good and enjoy Hawaii!!!


Hey Melissa,

Mike’s advice is probably better for you as I only take one long-acting shot a day (Lantus), it’s a little easier to manage one than two. When I went to Ireland a few years ago I kept my watch on Chicago time and didn’t change the timing of my dose at all. I was there for almost a month and didn’t have any serious BG issues the whole time.

You might also want to consider how long your trip to Hawaii will be. If it’s just for a short time you might want to keep your shots as close to your East Coast times as possible. I’ve followed the 1-2 hour method myself with no ill effects, but it used to be a pain in the *** to wake up early for a shot when I was on vacation (:stuck_out_tongue:

Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

All the advice above is good :slight_smile:

I also go through a six hour time change often. When I was using Lantus/Novolog, I moved the injection by one hour each day, but started moving it in the right direction two-three days before I left. That way I made the full adjustment within a couple days of arrival.

But if it’s a short trip, it might be best just to keep your schedule (unless is messes up your vacation sleeping plans). Have fun!


I’m so glad you asked this question. In December I went to Hawaii for two weeks, and then two weeks later to Israel for a week. I’m Type II on orals only, but I can tell you worrying about when to take my meds and when to eat had me seriously stressed out! Hope some of the replies are helpful.

For Type IIs that have wondered the same thing, I was fairly successful on my two trips just “taking the hit” on the four travel days by skipping some doses and watching what I ate. Made it through pretty well, and managed to enjoy the trips.