There are several things you can do to help reduce the effects of jet lag .
When you arrive at your destination, you should:
Melatonin is a substance (a hormone and neurotransmitter) that your body releases in the evening. It helps to let your brain know it's time for your body to sleep.
Your body clock is synchronised to a diurnal (daytime) lifestyle by natural daylight and by the release of melatonin in your body. Social factors and possibly physical activity also play a part.
Melatonin isproduced when it gets dark to helpyour body for sleep. Your bodystops producing melatonin at around dawn to help you wake up.
Some jet lag remedies contain melatonin to help you sleep at night when your body is finding it difficult to adjust to the new time zone. Melatoninhas been found to help people sleep and reduce general feelings of jet lag in some (but not all) studies.
At the momentthere's not enough evidence to say whether melatonin supplements are effective. Some people find them helpful, but they're not currently licensed in the UK for the prevention of jet lag.
There's also insufficient evidence regarding the possible side effectsofmelatonin forpeople taking the blood thinning medicine Warfarin .
Becauseproducts containing melatonin aren't licensed, it's difficult to be certain how much melatonin they contain and whether other substances are present.
Some people find taking sleeping tablets can help relieve any insomnia (difficulty sleeping) associated withjet lag. However, they're not usually recommended because of the risk of becoming dependent on them.
Sleeping tablets can alsocauseside effects such as:
You may be tempted to look for jet lag remedies online. However, take great care when buying medicines over the internet, particularly if it's usually only available on prescription. There's a risk of getting substandard or fake medicines that aren't safe or suitable to use.
If you're thinking about buying what may be a prescription-only medicine, you should consult your doctor, rather than buy the medicine direct from an internet supplier without a prescription.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has more information about buying medicines online .
Find out what causes jet lag plus how to treat and prevent it.
The symptoms of jet lag can vary from person to person. The severity of jet lag symptoms depends on the number of time zones crossed.
Jet lag occurs when the body has to adapt to a new light-dark schedule and normal daily routine after crossing several time zones.
To help reduce the effects of jet lag, establish a new routine when you arrive at your destination. Don't sleep when you arrive at your destination and spend time outdoors.
Jet lag can't be prevented, but you can try some strategies that may reduce its effects.