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Jet lag treatment (a synthetic version of the hormone melatonin)

If you have travelled across the world on a jet plane before, you are most likely familiar with the typical symptoms of jet lag, which can put a significant dampener on your trip. To alleviate the symptoms and speed up your adjustment to the new time zone, you can take Jet Lag treatments tablets which contain a synthetic version of the hormone melatonin which is produced naturally in the brain.

What is the hormone Melatonin?

Melatonin is naturally occurring hormone that is found in humans, animals and even plants. In mammals, the substance is produced in a small gland about the size of a pea underneath the brain, the so called pineal gland. It consists of two chemical compounds, tryptophan, an amino acid and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the contribution of feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Melatonin controls sleepiness hence has a powerful influence on the body clock.

Melatonin is released during the hours of darkness at night time and during times of general lack of natural daylight. We therefore feel more tired and sluggish during the autumn and winter months where the days are short. The concentration of melatonin thus differs according to the time of day and is at its highest around 2am to 4am. Its secretion halts as soon as it gets light again, so essentially it signals the body when it’s time to sleep and when it is time to get up again, which means it controls our sleep/wake cycle, medically referred to as the circadian rhythm.

Jet Lag treatment

What are synthetic versions of the hormone melatonin used for?

Natural melatonin production gradually drops as we get older, which is one reason as to why primary insomnia (ppor quality of sleep, difficulty falling asleep or waking up at night) occurs increasingly often among patients over the age of 55. The synthetic hormone manufactured by Lundbeck can help restore natural melatonin hromone levels and promote healthy sleep and morning altertness in affected people.

While clinical evidence about its efficiency for this purpose is still scarce and expert opinions are divided over this subject matter, melatonin tablets can also be prescribed off-label to treat and alleviate the typical symptoms of jet lag commonly experienced by travellers on a longhaul transmeridian flight or by shift workers who are unable to stick to a regular sleeping pattern due to work commitments.

How should I take the jet lag treatment?

Crossing three or more time zones within a short amount of time will throw your body clock out of balance, as the usual light/darkness patterns controling the secretion of hormone melatonin do no longer apply. Until your body has adjusted to the new time zone, you will experience jet lag which is mainly characterised by the inability of sleeping at the right time resulting in overall tiredness and irritability. To minimise disruption and speed up adjustment, expose yourself to as much sunlight as you can get during the day as this will prevent you body releasing more melatonin naturally. Before going to bed in the evening, take the jet lag treatment (hormone) supplement to help you fall asleep despite your body clock ticking according to the time back in your home time zone and to reset your circadian rhythm quickly.

Take one slow release tablet before going to bed in the evening at your destination. The drug can speed up your body clock’s adjustment twofold, so you can work out the number of days you should take it for as follows:
Divide the number of time zones you crossed during your flight by 2 and add 1. So, if you went through 4 time zones for example, you would be taking the jet lag treatment for 3 days, starting on the day you arrive at your destination. The right timing is important to get the full benefit of the treatment and it may vary individually – take the slow release formula tablet before going to bed in the evening, preferrably around midnight, do not be tempted to have a nap in the middle of the day when you arrive.

Swallow the tablet as a whole and do not chew, crush or halve it as this will impair or nullify the SR effect which releases the active ingredient gradually over the course of a few hours.

Jet Lag treatment

     
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