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Melatonin for jet lag

Melatonin for jet lag

Old Jun 9, 99, 5:25 pm
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Melatonin for jet lag

Has anyone ever used melatonin for jet lag. It is supposed to help re-wind your body's natural clock. Just wondered if anyone had any good results with it.
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Old Jun 9, 99, 7:46 pm
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I use it to on both transpacific and transatlantic flights. I usually adjust to the local time (destination) the next day. I take my first melatonin tablet (2 mg) when the time at my destination is around 2300-2400. Then when I get to my destination, I sleep only at my usual bedtime, again taking another tablet of melatonin. The next day, I am fully adjusted.
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Old Jun 9, 99, 8:30 pm
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I use it every time I go back to the UK from Winnipeg (every month) and it works for me. I take one or two milligrams about 45 minutes before I want to go to sleep, and off I go. I just use it for 2 or 3 days and I am back to "normal" .

[This message has been edited by SCMM (edited 06-09-1999).]
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Old Jun 10, 99, 12:44 am
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Thanks for tips. The time difference for me will only be 4 hours going from Michigan to Alaska. I seem to do Very WEll with all the added sunlight in Alaska, but when I get back home to Michigan it seems to take weeks to adjust. I look forward to the melatonin helping.
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Old Jun 10, 99, 11:41 am
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Talk to your doctor or research the web. This is not a black and white drug. I certainly would not take it without medically sound advice or anything else for that matter.
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Old Jun 10, 99, 1:38 pm
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Never used it. Too conservative about my health! It's somewhat controversial. A good place to start reseaching it is [url]www.Medscape.com[url]. Also, a sad note for other aging FF's like myself- The jet lag appears to get worse as I'm growing older! This is just anecdotal information of course!
No charge!
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Old Jun 10, 99, 8:41 pm
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Wonderer-- You beat me to it. This month's TravelWise will be on melatonin. So, you all will get the low-down before I even write the article. Basically, the "simple" rule is to take 3-5 mg, at bedtime local time starting on the day of arrival for about 3-4 days; this is for east- or west-bound travel. Also this is good for crossing up to around 9 timezones. This simple rule is generally good for travellers who plan to be at their destination for 3-4 days after arrival. If staying less than that amount of time, studies show melatonin has no beneficial effect, rather hypnotics to help go to sleep are better over melatonin, which is a biochronotroph. The more "complex plan" was literally laughed at during the Travel Medicine conference I just attended, becuause no one, could be complient with the regimen. Also note, that melatonin is a dietary supplement, meaning that it is regulated as such-- which means it's not regulated. So check with your pharmacist as to a reputable, recommened brand to use as some brands are produced by fly-by-night operations. One last thing, if any flight crew are reading this, check with your carrier as to rules and regs of even taking melatonin....as they need to follow the "complex plan," and some carriers don't allow it's use because the flight crew isn't in country long enough to benefit. wonderer if you have any more questions, fell free to email me...

forgot to add, that doc, you're right, age does affect jet lag, makes it worse, just one more thing to look forward to.

[This message has been edited by burkey (edited 06-10-1999).]
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Old Jun 10, 99, 9:51 pm
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Thanks everyone especially Burkey. Look forward to reading the article.
I finally called my family doctor today and asked about taking Melatonin. He said go ahead and his recomendations for use were the same as Burkey's.
Doc, didn't know about the medscape site. Thanks
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Old Jun 11, 99, 10:09 am
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Had a long discussion with an international flight attendant about this recently. His conclusions, from having discussed it with many users, were:

1. It works.

2. Everybody responds to it differently, so you need to find your own dosage. General recommendations from any source may be WAY off. The only way to do it is to experiment with dosage and see what works for you.

3. A given person's response (hence correct dosage) changes over time, whether from aging or exposure.

4. The wrong dosage may make it harder to adjust to a new time zone, not easier.

For what it's worth.
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Old Jun 11, 99, 6:56 pm
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Controlled studies, shows that it does work in test subjects. The ISTM (International Society of Travel Medicine) recommendation is the 3-5 mg as I said above, this also correctly corresponds with research that was just presented from a group in Zurich. As with other medications, sensization can occur, hence the need to adjust dose. And lastly, too much melatonin will prolong "night" as endogenous melatonin rises during the bedtime hours, peaks out in the early morning, and drops back to daytime levels there after. So too much or too little, doesn't cause a proper phase shift to obtain what the melatonin level would be in that of a person who resides in the "new" time-zone. It's interesting that blind people have this "free running" melatonin profile, since they are unable to know the differnece between night and day.
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Old Jun 12, 99, 8:38 am
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Thank you for the PERFECT timing for my upcoming RTW trip!!!!!

My dr. said "go for it" on the Melatonin, but didn't have any good dosage information, but also gave me an Ambien prescription (10 pills--I feel funny going to the pharmacy for it

Burkey--I think I'll email you...assuming emails get through
jl
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Old Jun 12, 99, 9:50 am
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jamiel--

I assume he wrote the Rx for 10mg Ambien (Zolpidem is the generic name, same drug)? Some say the lesser doasge of 5mg is also effective. (Only 5mg and 10mg tab's avail in the US.)

Just some more info on Ambien, it is a quick onset prescription drug, the same study group from Zurich tested diffent combinations of it with and without melatonin, taken at the same time and at different times. The final result and recommendation, is this: Take the Ambien in flight about an hour before you want to go to sleep, don't take it with alcohol, onset of sleep may be jsut slightly longer if you take it after a meal. Ambien taken toghether with melatonin (at the same time) was effective, but those people had hangover feelings, nausea, and some other symptoms.

So again, just to be clear, the Ambien (Zolpidem) is for use on board the plane to promote sleep, and after arrival at your destination is the time to use melatonin, 3-5 mg at local bedtime. Don't use the two together at the same time.
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Old Jun 14, 99, 2:41 pm
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More on the Ambien....from what I recall, older people might do well on the 5mg rather than the 10mg. It is VERY fast acting. Very often less than 10-15 minutes. Have the blanket and pillow ready before you pop the pill. Most people get a solid 4-6 hours from the pill.
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Old Jun 14, 99, 6:01 pm
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Have had insomnia on and off for years - tried everything - Melatonin did not a thing for me - no effect whatsoever. Ambien has changed my life - seriously. Don't feel funny about going to get it filled - insomnia is a medical condition. As was stated previously, very fast acting - usually 5 mg is enough for me - no effects in the a.m. - it is not addictive. Used it last time I went to the UK - 5 mg about an hour after the meal - slept the entire way to London.


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Old Jun 18, 99, 1:50 am
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The New York Times Personal Health column had an article about using melatonin for jet lag on Wednesday, 4/30/97. You can get it off of Lexis or similar research sites.

The original article included a schedule for when to take the pill (suggest 1/2 mg dose) both before and after travel, varying according to how many time zones and whether east to west (easier on the body) or vice versa; also when in the day to get or avoid daylight. I've found their schedule helpful and effective; unfortunately, it won't be included if you retrieve off Lexis. Send me your snail-mail address, and I can send you a hardcopy (I'm not about to type it all into an e-mail!)
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