I have read tons of Jet Lag prevention tips (no alcohol, keep hydrated, dont sleep on arrival, etc), but has anyone used the supplements? If so, do they actually help or is it a waste of money...?
Waste of money in my opinion...
Sleep on the flight east bound as much as you can as it helps to reset your clock. Expect the first day if you arrive in the morning to be long and tiring. Second day you should be fine.
Some people swear by melatonin, but I am not sold on it.
There are actually two problems that people experience, travel fatigue and jet lag, and they are entirely different things. I find most "cures" treat travel fatigue, which is a problem, but don't do anything for jet lag. Jet lag, I think it is properly called desychronization, is just that your body is still in the old time zone, so you are "asleep" during the day and "awake" at night. There is nothing that you can do about this except to reset your "clock" and you can only do that with sunshine. When you get to Europe, while it is still night time in the US, get outside in the sunshine.
Supposedly, melatonin is somehow related, but I am not sure whether you need it to wake up or to sleep.
I use them, along with trying to sleep on the plane and going for a walk to get fresh air once I've arrived. It works for me, even if it's just the psychological boost. After a particularly horrid red-eye to Orlando from Seattle, I carry them every time I cross time zones.
Melatonin is a substance that your body produces naturally when it's time for you to sleep. I take it on overnight flights to help relax me for sleep. It is not a drug and does not cause any "hangover" effect. I don't think there's any "prevention" for jet lag. You just have to get your body clock reset for your new time zone. What I usually do is take a melatonin as soon as I get on the plane, and try to get as much sleep as possible. Once I land I stay busy all day, and try to stay awake as late as I can. The second day I'm fine.
I took No Jet Lag on our flight this past summer, had cat naps with ear plugs and eye mask, drank tons of water and avoided alcohol.My husband and 2 daughters decided Not to try the Jet Lag. Of the 4 of us, I was the only one who was not completely miserable on arrival. It could have been any of the things I did, but I would use No Jet lag again, just in case that was the key.
No solutions here, just a personal observation. But first, to answer your question, I have never tried supplements.
I know most sources state that flying west to east causes more of a jet lag issue than the reverse, but personally I find flying east to west affects me more. I think this is mostly psychological and situational, as logic says west to east is worse.
I think I notice west-east less due to the excitement of the trip and the flowing adrenalin. Having flown to the east coast and Europe several times from Seattle, I've never "lagged" at the eastern destination. If anything, I'm energized. Coming home (to reality, work, etc) after a long trip is a different matter.
My reaction might be different if I were to actually fly west from Seattle to some distant place. The only places I've flown westward is Alaska and Hawaii and have no problems with jetlag on those occasions, but they're not that far, so a trip to Asia or Australia could affect me completely differently.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
If you do decide to take the No Jet Lag, the directions say to take one every 2 hours (also on take off and landing). I didn't really have a problem with this on my flight to Italy because I'd fall asleep and then wake up about 2 hours later, take a pill, and fall asleep again for another 2 hours.
I believe if you are sleeping it is OK to delay taking the No Jet Lag, but you might want to double-check the box to be sure.
I tried the "No Jet Lag" on a trip to Ireland (from w. Coast US) earlier this year. They may have helped some on the way there, but had no impact at all on the return trip. On a prior trip, getting on east coast time before departure, avoiding alcohol, drinking water, and staying up until a normal bedtime upon arrival seemed to work just as well. I have found no magic for the return trip, I'm always toast for a few days after I get back, but that is easily solved by taking a few extra days off work.
Good, so far, Sylvia, Liz and CL - you all have tried it and it worked to a degree. Thanks for the feedback! That makes me a little bit more apt to try it. Im not usually a natural herbal person, but i keep hearing about it.
I figure, it couldnt hurt to try it, and if its all in my head, then so be it!
I like using melatonin. It is better than popping Ambiens, I assure you. That'll really wack up your system. (Although some travelers I know swear by the sleeping pills...) I find it very difficult to sleep on a plane. My advice is to try the melatonin. They usually come in little melt in your mouth tablets and if they don't make you fall asleep, they'll at least relax you (naturally). Even if you can't "sleep" just "rest" your eyes and meditate. (Although that can be hard when you are excited about your trip!) Best of luck to you!
I dont have a Dr so no Ambiens. I will however, take Advil PM because it seems to help me get to sleep and isnt a "druggy" sedative, just a mild sleep assistant... lol..
I have heard Melatonin can make you feel odd.
My flight is overnight, so im hoping to get at least 6 hours sleep then I should be ok for a tad bit (couple hours) of sightseeing for the first day! Then again, I will be excited so at least if I can get some relaxation and rest, I should be ok. Im sure I will be a bit off the first couple days anyhow.
I'm not sure in what way melatonin can make you feel "odd" -- it's never happened to me. As I said before, your body naturally produces it anyway. Taking it as a supplement signals your body that it's time to sleep. I don't know how that could make you feel odd any more than going to sleep every night does.
Im not concerned about being able to sleep on the plane, I just want to pass up on the jet lag. Advil PM works fine for me to get some ZZZZS.
I work the graveyard shift, and I take melatonin a few time a year when my body clock gets so completely screwed up that I can't sleep. For me Melatonin does have the side effect of very intense dreams; like dreaming in high-definition. But it absolutely will put you to sleep. One thing to consider, Melatonin is only legal over-the-counter in the US, mostly because of a loophole in the law. In Canada, and Europe it's only available by prescription; even though customs checks into Europe are lax, it's something to keep in mind.
I've noticed the dreaming side-effect, too. Interesting.
I used to have terrible jet-lag traveling west-east to Europe. I've tried all the mentioned remedies, including Airborne. The only thing that seems to make a big difference is if I can sleep an hour or more on the plane. For that I skip caffeine and alcohol that day and take a sleeping pill (Rx) on the flight. Then I spend the first day taking it very easy, including taking a big nap. The second day I am ready for Europe.
Yes Michael, I have heard it makes you feel strange. I dont have issues getting to sleep. I just wanted to know the opinions of No Jet Lag supplements. I have Airborne as well but that is for immunity.
MSNBC posted an article on Jet Lag on their website:
I take my chorus on tours and have noticed that, going over, those of us who stay up until at last 8 PM local time, preferably later - are usually fine the next day. Those who insist on going to bed as soon as we get to the hotel are the ones who are miserable with jet lag, sometimes for several days.
Here are my own rules for myself. No alcohol the night before the flight. No alcohol on the flight or the day you arrive. Set your watch to the time of your destination after you sit in your seat on the plane. Sleep as much as you can on the airplane. Stay awake until 10pm on your first day so as not to wake up too early. My wife and I still woke up before 5am on our first morning in London! Hope this helps.
I found "No Jet Lag", a homeopathic at the luggage store, and the sales person told me people said they loved it, so I bought it. I began putting myself towards the new time zone before leaving to go to England, going to bed a couple of hours earlier than usual and getting up a couple of hours earlier. Then I used earplugs and a sleep mask to catch a few, very short hours of sleep on the plane, and made sure I stayed hydrated (no alcohol). I took "No Jet Lag" EXACTLY as directed by the package and by a friend who uses homeopathics (never touch the pill with your fingers--sounds silly but she said it makes a difference!). After my 9-hour trip (7 hour time change), I stayed up until my normal bed time on the new schedule after arriving (no naps). I woke at the normal time in the morning, walked all over London that day, felt great, was immediately adjusted to the new time zone, and never suffered jet lag. On my return, I forgot to take it, and it took me more than five days to get re-adjusted after I got home. I will use it on ALL future trips.
Well I have posted before about No Jet Lag and what is in it. I won't go into great detail, but among the ingredients is ipecac. Look it up if you do not know what that is. It is used to make you throw up if you have ingested poison. It is very effective as an emetic. Fortunately in No Jet Lag, like most homeopathic " remedies"' it is diluted to the point where there is nothing left. It is just a placebo, pure and simple.. If it works for you fine. But I' 'll save my $14. Actually I do nothing special to avoid jet lag other than time our flights( fly overnight and get a short night) then stay up to local time bedtime. None of the stuff April mentions. I do not change my schedule, avoid alcohol or caffeine (but I don't drink coffee anyway, only tea), or follow any special routine. Just get on the plane, departing early evening, eat dinner with wine, a take a nap. No movies. On arrival, we shower, go for a walk, have dinner, and go to bed around 10pm. Next day we are both fine. So that is my jet lag prevention kit--- it is all about timing the flights and booking good itineraries (one change only, in Europe not the US, total flight time 15 hours or less). May cost a bit more than cheaper flights with two stops or long layovers, but it is well worth it, as we hit the ground running our first full day there.
No Jet Lag pills are, in my opinion, a pure waste of money. All of the other things that April did will also help with travel fatigue, which is why the pills seemed to work. There is nothing in them that would be of any good in preventing jet lag or fatigue. And it's always harder to make the adjustment on the return leg, in my experience, pills or no.
I use melatonin for sleeping control and I double the dose to 4mg to sleep early when I need (my problem is with sleeping onset only)
Thank you, April, for digging up a nearly four year old thread so you could sing the praises of No Jet Lag. The flaws in homeopathy are too numerous to point out here. Those interested can find out more at http://www.quackwatch.com/