FREE ADVICE
Browse Our Travel Ads
Receive Our Newsletter
Use Our Search Engine
Discover Hermail.Net
Where's Journeywoman?
 
BEST SHE CAN BE
 
JUST FOR HER
Her Travel Tales
Her Cities of the World
She Travels Solo
She Loves to Cruise
The Older Adventuress
She Travels to Learn
Her EcoAdventures
She's a Biz Traveller
She Shops the World
She Travels with Kids
GirlTalk Cyberguides
 
THINGS SHE LOVES
Men Have Their Say
Travel Love Stories
Tour Guides Worldwide
Restaurants Worldwide
Books She Suggests
We Love Our Sponsors
 
HEALTH & WELLNESS
She Visits Spas
JourneyDoctor Advice
 
CONTACT US
Letter to the Editor
Send a travel tip
Media request
Speaking Engagements
Want to Advertise?
 
LINKS
Bloggers We Recommend



 

Hong Kong Tourism Board

 

Jet Lag & Melatonin

Sharon B. Wingler is a flight attendant and the author of the newly released guide, Travel Alone and Love it. If anyone should know about dealing with jet lag, it is this much travelled woman.

I began researching melatonin because I'd heard so much about it being used to combat jet lag. My health food guru told me it is primarily used as a sleep aid. He said his store can hardly keep up with the demand for it. One customer was cured of a 15 year case of insomnia. In further reading it occurred to me that melatonin seems to be the "vitamin C" of the 90s. Some studies have shown it to offer many exciting benefits. Among them are not only help in fighting jet lag and insomnia, but also help in the fight against aging and cancer. It seems to boost the body's immune system and protects cells from free-radical damage.

What is melatonin? It is a hormone that occurs naturally in the human body. Secreted by the pineal gland in response to light, melatonin helps regulate the rhythms of our sleep and the action of other hormones. The level of melatonin in our bodies peaks in childhood and continue to decline as we age. Therefore, replacing the older body's "lost" melatonin helps us to "sleep like a baby."

Be cautious with this, as with many other supplements, as the jury is still out over long term effects. Still, as a sleep aid, it seems to me to be more natural and, safer than sleeping pills. The pills I have are sublingual (to be dissolved under the tongue) and in 2.5 milligram strength. I usually break the tablet into half dose size. I have always slept well but I do notice that I drift off to sleep a bit more quickly with melatonin, and I wake up with no groggy after-effect.

The recommended nightly dosage in combating jet lag is 5 milligrams. You should not continue this high a dosage after your jet lag passes. Definitely do not take melatonin with a sleeping pill. Read the label carefully for any possible warnings. Melatonin is not to be taken by children, teenagers, pregnant or lactating women, nor by people with certain medical conditions. It is best to ask your doctor about it.

For further information, you may read the articles in Newsweek, August 7, 1995 and Newsweek, November 6, 1995. Books include The Melatonin Miracle, by Pierpaoli and Regelson with Colman (Simon and Shuster) and Melatonin: Your Body's Natural Wonder Drug by Reiter and Robinson (Bantam Books)

Ed. note: To date, melatonin can be purchased freely in the U.S.A. but has not yet been approved by the Canadian Food and Drug. And, while it is illegal for stores to sell it in Canada, there seems to be no law against bringing it in from the States.

 

 

 

 

More JourneyDoctor articles

Home

 
     

free newsletter | gal-friendly city sites | go-alone travel tips | love stories
travel classifieds | ms. biz | journey doctor | women's travel tales | she goes shopping
what should I wear? | letters to the editor | the older adventuress | travel 101 | girl talk guides
women helping women travel | her spa stop | her ecoadventures | best books
travel with kiddies | shopping | cruise holidays | awards and kudos | home|
search engine