Old Aug 21st, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Anyone used Melatonin for overseas flights? When do you take it, what dose and did it make you groggy the morning after you arrived?
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Old Aug 26th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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I use it all the time when I fly long-haul trips. Unlike sleeping pills and Nyquil, I don't feel groggy at all, even if, for example, I'm changing planes at the equivalent of 3 in the morning after taking melatonin only a few hours before.

I usually only take one pill (3 mg), but I fall asleep easily. Those who find it difficult to sleep might need two. I don't bother taking it in the days before my flight (some recommend this as a way of resetting your clock before you get to your destination), but I do usually take it at bedtime for one or two nights after I arrive (and when I get home) because I find that I sleep more soundly and wake up more refreshed.

As for timing, I usually take it about 60-90 minutes before I want to be asleep (usually when I board the plane). Also, when I take it, I don't feel like I've suddenly been hit by a sleep sledgehammer (the way I feel when I take sleeping pills). It feels more like someone just advanced the hands on the clock and it's suddenly bedtime. This means that you don't necessarily get a clear "oh my sleeping pill is working signal"; lie back and close your eyes anyway. You'll probably fall asleep fairly quickly.
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Old Aug 26th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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I find that melatonin has no effect on me whatsoever. I've stayed awake for entire nights after taking 2 or 3 tablets.
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Old Aug 27th, 2005, 03:22 AM
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Having to put up with 3 international business trips a year from Australia, I swear by melatonin. I take it after I eat on the plane and find it sends me into a fugue like state which I can snap out of very quickly if needs be. But I feel very refreshed.

I then stay up all day when I arrive, and take it again when I go to bed for the first 2-3 nights and I am fine afterwards. It prevents those horrible times when you wake up at 3.00am and stare at the ceiling for several hours.

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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 06:56 PM
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In lieu of staring at the ceiling for hours and hours, I like to catch up on my Fodors reading

I envy those of you who can fall asleep with melatonin (my husband included). I have to resort to Ambien.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2005, 04:27 AM
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I tried melatonin, but it gave me night terrors. Based on a bunch of research, I started using a sleep mask on flights--works great for me and I'm not introducing unneeded and unregulated substances into my body.

Here's some things I've found out about melatonin:

Jet lag: It does appear that melatonin helps many people deal with jet lag. Taking 5 mg. of melatoinin at bedtime usually produces quicker and better quality sleep.

Are melatonin supplements safe?
Like all non-regulated supplements, makers don't have to conduct any studies of effectiveness or safety, and there are no controls over how they manufacture the supplement. tested 18 melatonin supplements and found lead contamination in one, as well as dosages that didn't match what was adverised on the label. Makers can legally produce unregulated supplements in their kitchen sink or garage, and some do.

Researchers have concerns about supplemental melatonin affecting ovaries and testicles--it apparently has a side effect on a brain hormone related to reproduction.

You can increase melatonin production without taking pills. Melatonin production is increased when you are in a darkened room. No night lights. No glowing clock dials. No turning on the lights when you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. A sleep mask is effective as well (my solution on long flights).

Bottom line--supplemental melatonin is apparently effective in helping the amount and quality of sleep for many people--thus reducing jet lag impacts. But, for some of us, there might be better ways to increase melatonin production than taking pills.
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Old Dec 25th, 2005, 01:01 AM
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I tried Melatonin for the first time recently for my flight to Perth. It seems to make me tried within 30 minutes but after about five hours I can't sleep any longer. Maybe I need to take more than two?
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