It is thought that adjusting to the destination as soon as possible help reduce the effects of jet lag. So-called “hypnotic” medications such as Lunesta (Eszopiclone), Ambien (zolpidem), or Sonata (zaleplon) are perhaps the best-known prescription pills used by frequent travelers.

Besides these medications and magnesium, people often use melatonin to ease the symptoms of jet lag. Experts say that melatonin is actually a hormone that our brains produce naturally. It’s naturally related to sleep — it is involved in our circadian rhythms (the body’s natural clock) and anticipates the onset of darkness every day. At night, our bodies start extracting just a little more melatonin from the pineal gland to get a better sleep.

The way it works is by helping to adjust the body’s internal clock, which is good for sleep. Melatonin does not make you sleepy instantly, as often believed. If you take it two hours before your desired bedtime, it might be able to help adjust your natural body’s clock.

It can also be taken en route, 30 minutes before the target bedtime at your destination. It doesn’t need to be taken en route for traveling west. A typical dose for melatonin ranges between 0.5 mg to 5 mg.

  1. January 31, 2018

    Melatonin is a hormone the body makes that regulates the cycle of sleeping and waking. Taking melatonin may help reset your sleep and wake cycle. Some studies show that using it reduces how much jet lag people report on both eastward and westward flights.The long-term side effects of melatonin have not been well studied. If you have epilepsy or are taking blood thinners such as coumadin, talk to your doctor before using melatonin.

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