Jet Lag and Melatonin

"Several human trials suggest that melatonin taken by mouth, started on the day of travel (close to the target bedtime at the destination) and continued for several days, reduces the number of days required to establish a normal sleep pattern, diminishes the time it takes to fall asleep ("sleep latency"), improves alertness, and reduces daytime fatigue.

"Overall, the scientific evidence does suggest benefits of melatonin in up to half of people who take it for jet-lag. More trials are needed to confirm these findings, to determine optimal dosing, and to evaluate use in combination with prescription sleep aids."

There is "strong scientific evidence for this use."         - U.S. National Institutes of Health

Recommendations Compared

SourceDosageTiming
U.S. National Institutes of Health Try taking 1 - 3 milligrams of melatonin. Several hours before bedtime for several days once you arrive at your destination.
Mayo Clinic Small doses as little as 1/3 milligram seem just as effective as doses of 5 milligrams or higher. Some scientists think that higher doses actually overload the body, causing the melatonin to become ineffective. 30 minutes before you plan to sleep or ask your doctor about the proper timing.
Reader's Digest Consider taking melatonin when you get on the plane to help you sleep, and then again after arrival when it's time for bed to help reset your body clock. (not mentioned)

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