While typical jet lag symptoms include a host of fun things like stomach upsets, brain fog and "general malaise", we can all agree that not being able to sleep is the biggest hallmark (and biggest pain in the ass) of being jet lagged while traveling.
No one has time for that.
There’s one supplement that has been proven to help you shift to your new timezone more quickly... And that’s melatonin.
Here's what you need to know about using melatonin for jet lag.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that we all produce naturally in our bodies. It acts as a darkness signal, secreted by the pineal gland in the brain... But you can also buy melatonin as a supplement, a powder or a spray.
It's fortunately been widely studied and has been shown to help with jet lag and with helping sleep.
When using melatonin for jet lag, it can be very effective to trick the body into sleeping at a different time than what your internal body clock is used to... This helps with timezone shifting, which is one of the reasons we all get jet lag in the first place when flying across multiple timezones.
Melatonin will tell your brain it’s nighttime even if it’s stubbornly clinging to your normal bedtime slot back at your departure port.
How should I take melatonin for jet lag?
Around 45 minutes before you want to sleep, take your dose of melatonin to signal to your brain and body that’s it’s time for bed.
Make sure you are taking a good quality melatonin. A pill form of melatonin will be a more reliable option than sprays or drinks.
And while there are some rumours that food products high in the tryptophan from which melatonin is derived - i.e. turkey, cherry juice - can help, there’s actually no evidence to support this.
What dose of melatonin should I take for jet lag?
In short, you should take only the smallest dose of melatonin you need. A typical effective dose ranges from 0.5mg to 5mg.
It’s best you start with a lower end dose, which seems to be just as effective for jet lag as a higher dose (according to the studies) and add from there if you find it necessary.
For reference, a dose equivalent to around 0.5mg is what your body would produce itself on a normal night cycle.
At GlowJetter, we combine 1mg of high quality melatonin in our Sleep Formula for jet lag with magnesium and calming herbs like Passionflower, Chamomile and Hops Flowers to ensure a long and restful night’s sleep.
Some things you need to consider about melatonin.
It’s recommended you try melatonin at home first before using it to see how it affects you personally. Luckily, side effects are uncommon and melatonin is best when used in the short term, which is why it’s perfect for jet lag... The safety of taking melatonin long term has not yet been determined.
If you have other medical conditions, don’t use melatonin without medical advice from your doctor.
You shouldn’t use melatonin if you are pregnant, lactating or have epilepsy or migraines. Don’t give melatonin to children.
Other tips for helping you sleep during jet lag.
Along with taking melatonin for your jet lag, you can help your sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene.
Make sure the room you’re sleeping in is on the cooler side if you can - optimum is around 65 farenheit/18 degrees celsius.
Darken the room as much as possible by blocking light and covering electric light emitting devices like clock radios and those little red and green charger lights.
You can do this simply by slipping on an eye mask like our velvet and silk ones from GlowJetter that ensure complete darkness for your slumber.