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Jet Lag

Jet lag is a disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle triggered by travel across time zones.


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What are the symptoms of jet lag?

Jet lag causes a combination of symptoms, including daytime sleepiness, disorientation, poor concentration, fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, difficulty falling asleep, and frequent waking from sleep. The symptoms can last from a day to a week or longer, depending on the person and the number of time zones crossed.

Nutritional supplements that may be helpful for jet lag

Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the human biological clock and may be helpful in relieving symptoms of jet lag, according to some,1 2 though not all,3 4 double-blind studies. One double-blind trial, involving international flight crew members, found that melatonin supplementation was helpful when started after arriving at the destination but not when started three days before leaving.5 Another double-blind study compared various amounts and forms of melatonin taken at bedtime for four days after the flight by people who traveled through six to eight time zones.6 Fast-release melatonin supplements were found to be more effective than the controlled-release supplements. A 5 mg and 0.5 mg fast-release melatonin were almost equally effective for improving sleep quality, time it took to fall asleep, and daytime sleepiness.

Are there any side effects or interactions with jet lag?ss

Refer to the individual supplement for information about any side effects or interactions.