A natural hormone produced in the body called melatonin regulates sleep and wakefulness; this varies on a daily basis. Jet lag tablets can boost the amount of this hormone in the body in the evening to reduce jet lag.
The medicine supplied by Dr Felix for jet lag is licensed in the UK to treat insomnia but is widely used across the world to treat jet lag. Melatonin tablets (Circadin) is a prescription only medicine.
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Summary of available medications
|Circadin 2mg||10 to 20 tablets||From £19.99|
What is jet lag?Jet lag occurs when you fly through different time zones. This makes you feel tired and confused after the long haul flight due to your body struggling to adjust to a new time zone. Jet lag disturbs your sleeping pattern and makes you feel tired, the opposite of how you want to feel if you are on holiday. Jet lag is believed to happen when you cross a few different time zones, and it becomes more serious the more time zones you cross.
What is the so called “body clock”?The natural daylight and dark nights regulate your body clock and make the body generate a natural hormone called melatonin at night time. Melatonin regulates your internal clock, helps you rest and get ready for sleep. Daylight prevents the production of melatonin so you are more active and energetic. In simple terms, melatonin is the thing which tells your body when to sleep. It achieves this by making you feel lethargic and lazy and makes your body rest.
How does jet lag actually occur?If you leave your natural habitat and travel to a different time zone your body clock is not used to, it disturbs the cycle of when melatonin is produced in your body. The production and inhibition of melatonin and changed times affects the sleeping patterns, this is where melatonin tablets can help.
What are jet lag pills?
Jet lag is often unavoidable, but you can take measures to reduce its effects and settle into the local time quicker than your body naturally would. Circadin tablets contain the active ingredient melatonin, same as the hormone produced in your body to help you sleep. Take one tablet at night time, up to 1 hour before sleeping, for the first couple of days at the new destination to help you sleep. This will allow you to feel fresh and awake the next day, and prevent ruining your trip until your body can adjust to the local time zone.
Please note melatonin is not licensed in the UK to treat jet lag, it is prescribed for insomnia but extensive scientific research has approved the usage of Circadin (melatonin) tablets to prevent jet lag.
How can I get rid of jet lag?
Taking a course of melatonin tablets with you is your primary measure. You can also try to sleep on the plane according to the local time at your destination if it is time to sleep. The quicker you adjust the less symptoms of jet lag you will suffer.
Symptoms of Jet Lag
Jet lag symptoms vary and are dependent on the distance and number of time zones you cross. The further it is and more time zone changes, the more severe the jet lag will be.
Some common symptoms of jet lag are tiredness, feeling lethargic, disturbed body clock and difficult to sleep.
The changes in the sleep cycle affect your body which can result in other symptoms such as:
- Constipation, diarrhoea and indigestion
- Appetite changes
- Weak and sore muscles
- Feeling disorientated and irritable
Refer to the patient information leaflet for a full list of symptoms.
Most symptoms will settle within a couple of days, but depending on the severity of yours they may take longer and require prescription treatment like Circadin 2mg tablets / melatonin tablets.
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