Melatonin for Jet Lag

Old Mar 27th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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anyone with experience traveling to Asia want to weigh in more on this? We will have a 12 hour flight to Tokyo from Chicago, leaving mid-afternoon, arriving Tokyo the next day mid-afternoon. My plan is to spend 3 hours enjoying a meal and a book or movie, then take an Excedrin PM (which I realize is Benadryl)and hope to sleep 5 hours or so. I would be a mess if I didn't sleep any of that 12 hour flight. I can't take Ambien either; haven't tried Melatonin in a decade or so. I get jet lagged traveling to Europe (8 hr. time difference). I shudder to think what 13+ hours will be like. Plus, I'm not as young as I once was.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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peg, what other info would you like? As you've probably seen, there are many posts about leg-lag on this site, and I often weigh in on info re: melatonin and behavioral techniques for changing time zones. I also offer cautions about taking Ambien.

Your plan sounds reasonable - try to sleep some on your flight. What is most important though, is not the nap on the plane, but getting to your destination and getting to sleep close to a "normal" time. It's fine on this first night to go to sleep earlier than usual. If you take melatonin, do so perhaps a half an hour before you want to fall asleep. WHen you get up in the morning (and it may be earlier than usual) make sure you get outisde and expose yourself to sunlight for at least a half an hour.

When I'm going only as far as Hong Kong, for instance (from Seattle) I never sleep on the plane. I find that a good night's sleep that first night (with the help of melatonin) and early morning light exposire, I'm pretty much fine the next day. I may be tired earlier than usual, but I can do most of a full day of activities.
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 04:09 AM
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Thank you, Kathie! Yes, our plan for Sunday is "gentle touring" - Meiji Shrine since we are likely to be awake early, Yoyogi Park, Sword Museum. I will hope for sunshine but I'm not in charge of the weather! I agree about Ambien; tried it once - fortunatly "practiced" BEFORE taking it for jet lag - and threw the remaining pills down the toilet. I do find the Excedrin PM helpful on occasion even in my non-traveling life
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Also make sure there are no drug contraindications before taking melatonin, if you are taking medications
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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I'll weigh in on the Melatonin conversation!

I use 1 mg Melatonin as the maximum dose I take. You can order it on-line. I just type "melatonin 1 mg" into the Google search box and a number of options come up.

Both my husband and I use the 1 mg as our max. We do not take anything on the plane. We take 1 mg each for the first 3 or 4 nights that we are in Asia (or Europe for that matter) and then start tapering off to 1/2 a pill, and then even to 1/4 pill over the next week. It works very well for both of us. We feel very little in the way of jet lag. We do this routine both going and coming back.

I cannot imagine taking more than 1 mg at a time as this dose seems very adequate. I do know that people have differing sensitivities to Melatonin though.

By the way, it seems to take about 15 mins. to take effect. Just the right amount of time to drift off while reading a book!

Happy travels,

LisaG
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