When traveling the skies, getting there is hard enough. Adding “plastic airline” food, airport security delays, the crush of over-booked flights plus jet lag moves the entire experience into the realm of wish-I’d-stayed home.
If family or business travel leaves you no options, then reducing jet lag and accompanying brain dysfunction ranks right next to making sure your luggage arrives as a traveler.s numero ono concerns.
The Melatonin Jet Lag Remedy. Getting there…getting sleep…re-orienting your body clock to a new time zone is all about biology and patterned living. Your lifestyle may be on the go, but your body seeks regular patterns in order to promote health and longevity.
There’s no one-shoe-size-fits-all jet lag pill that guarantees results. However, naturally occurring melatonin is part of the traveler’s kit bag of strategies to prevent jet lag. After the sun sets each day, each of us light-sensitive organisms begins to hormonally “shift” into the night time mode, where rest and sleep and other metabolic activity occurs. Your melatonin hormone levels produced by your pineal gland begin rising and peak during the period 9PM to 9AM.
Melatonin Jet Lag Therapy – What You Need To Do. You’re light-sensitive. No different to any other animal or plant. So, increase the depth and reliability of your sleeping by taking sub-lingual (under-the-tongue) melatonin 2 to 4 days prior to your planned travel.
Then, after arriving, continue to take melatonin for an additional 3 to 4 days around 1 hour before bed time.
Meanwhile, avoid naps (which disrupt your new sleep cycle), and consider ‘tricking’ your body’s melatonin hormone output by staying in bright sunlight during the afternoons only at your new destination. What does this do? Sunlight triggers a reduction in your natural melatonin outputs, so you’re manually interfering with your bio-clock in order to create the more optimal response later that evening at bedtime in your new time zone destination.
What Does Melatonin Do? Melatonin’s body work is directed towards two key areas, namely promoting sleepiness and supporting immune system health. Rest and metabolic re-building at night, when you’re sleeping is key to overall health. Miss sleep and everyone around you will know of your irritability, short fuse, agitation and inability to physically and mentally function at “normal” levels.
The Melatonin Serotonin Brain Link. Because of its unique and subtle influence over a number of neural pathways, researchers speculate that a melatonin serotonin link may exist, which theoretically could be exploited in future therapies for Altzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even cancer mitigation.