Taking melatonin for several days upon arrival in your final destination can help reduce the length of time you experience jet lag.
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the brain. It helps to regulate sleep patterns by synchronising the body’s biological day-and-night rhythm. When your natural sleep pattern is disturbed, melatonin can help restore it.
If treatment is suitable for you, you’ll be prescribed a pack of 10 melatonin tablets or capsules. Once you arrive at your final destination, you should take one melatonin tablet one hour before your new bedtime for a maximum of five days.
Side effects of melatonin could include nausea, drowsiness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, back pain and joint pains.
For the full information of a medicine’s side effects and how to take it, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine.
It can take several days for jet lag symptoms to resolve naturally, but melatonin may be able to assist your body to adjust to the new time zone more quickly and easily.
This treatment service is for jet lag only and not for treating general insomnia when you haven’t travelled.
If you experience drowsiness while taking melatonin, you should not drive, operate machinery or undertake hazardous activities.
If you’re currently taking a contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that contains oestrogen, this may increase the effects and possible side effects of melatonin.
It’s important that you tell us which other medicines you’re taking — whether they’re prescription or medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. You must also tell us of any other conditions you live with. We need to know so that we can prescribe a jet lag treatment if suitable for you.
If you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding, this service isn’t suitable for you as you must not use melatonin in these circumstances.
Men who are planning a pregnancy with their partner should not take melatonin. If your partner is pregnant, you should use a condom.
While melatonin may help to reduce the time you experience jet lag, your body should eventually adjust on its own. There are also a few things you can do to try and reduce the effects of jet lag naturally.
Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 21/06/2021