Travelling can be exciting and fun. Flying long distances gives you opportunities to see and experience exciting new things. If you’re travelling for business, you can make professional connections with colleagues who work in a different location. But if you’re enduring jet lag you’re too tired to go see the sights or make new friends.
Melatonin is a natural alternative to sleeping medication. Melatonin is commonly used to reduce jet lag. “As a jet lag remedy and sleep aid, melatonin has been widely studied, and it’s now a commonly accepted part of effective jet lag treatment.” Taking melatonin 30 minutes before you go to sleep can “help ‘reset’ your sleep and wake cycle.” Your body reacts to melatonin as if it were a light-dark signal which is why it helps reset your circadian clock and helps reduce jet lag.
Kimberly Boyd (MD) gives three suggestions for taking melatonin: 1) Give it enough time to work, 2) Take only the dose you need, and 3) Don’t combine melatonin with other sedatives or alcohol.
When you take melatonin influences its effectiveness. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise you should take melatonin 30 minutes before you plant to sleep. This allows the melatonin enough time to take effect before you try to sleep but not enough time to make you drowsy when you want to be awake. As with any other supplement or medication it is important to take only the dose you need or the dose suggested by your doctor.
Next time you have a long flight you’ll be able to explore your new surroundings without the weight of jet lag.
 Unknown (2014). Jet lag and melatonin, topic overview. WebMD http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/jet-lag-and-melatonin-topic-overview
 Boyd, K. (2011). Tips to prevent and reduce jet lag. One life, make it count http://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/prevent-jet-lag/