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Circadin is a jet lag tablet that contains melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone our body produces to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

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What Is Jet Lag?

Jet lag (desynchronosis) is a condition that's common to people who have travelled long distances. It comes as a result of your body not being able to adapt to new time zones.

Jet lag can affect sleeping, waking, eating, and working patterns. It can also cause fatigue, intestinal and bowel problems, changes in blood pressure and an unfocused mind. These symptoms will continue until your body has adjusted to its new environment.

What Causes Jet Lag?

Jet lag is caused by several factors:

  • Out of sync circadian rhythm - your circadian rhythm or internal body clock dictates not only your sleep-wake cycle but also other body functions like your bowel habits. Jet lag occurs when you travel across two or more time zones - putting your body clock out of sync with the local time.
  • Influence of sunlight - sunlight helps to control your body clock. Light regulates the production of melatonin, which is the hormone which keeps your body cells in sync. Cells in your eyes transmit light signals to your hypothalamus. When it's night, your hypothalamus tells the pineal gland to produce melatonin so you can sleep. The pineal gland doesn't produce as much melatonin during day time.
  • Air cabin atmosphere - some studies suggest that jet lag can also be caused by air cabin pressure and atmosphere. Regardless of timezones, high altitude travel and not getting enough water may contribute to the onset of jet lag.

There are also certain facts which might make the symptoms of jet lag seem more intense.

These are:

  • Flying frequently
  • Flying east (flying east means you “lose” time and your body may find it harder to adjust)
  • Age (young adults tend to get over jet lag faster than older adults)

What Are The Jet Lag Symptoms?

Jet lag symptoms usually begin within 12 hours of landing at your destination. They usually last from several hours to days when not treated. Below are the most common symptoms of jet lag:

  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach or diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Disoriented, can’t focus

Jet lag symptoms are usually mild and will go away as soon as your body gets adjusted. Severe symptoms like fever, vomiting, and cold sweats may point to something more than just jet lag (e.g. altitude sickness, a cold, etc.).

How Can I Treat Jet Lag?

Jet lag symptoms often go away on their own. But if you want to know how to get over jet lag quickly, read below:

1. Get Some Sunshine

Sunlight has a big influence on your body clock. Try to get as much natural light as possible when jet-lagged to help reset your internal clock.

2. Take Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the body which controls your body clock. It is used to help treat the symptoms of jet lag and helps to control the sleeping pattern of those who work night shifts. There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain the active ingredient melatonin.

Melatonin is available as a prescription modified-release tablet through Express Pharmacy, under the branded name Circadin. Take melatonin supplements no more than 30 minutes before going to bed. Also, make sure that you can sleep for 8 hours as melatonin can make you drowsy if it’s still inside your system.

3. Take Sleeping Pills

Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of jet lag. You can consult with your doctor and ask for a sleeping pill prescription.

4. Eat at an Appropriate Time

Studies on how to get over jet lag show that ignoring hunger cues and eating at standard mealtimes in your new time zone can help to reduce jet lag symptoms.

Can I Prevent Jet Lag?

Jet lag can affect anyone, anytime. Below are some steps you can take that may help prevent or reduce jet lag symptoms.

  • Arrive early at your destination - this is a must if you have an important meeting or event. Arriving a few days before the “big day” will give your body ample time to adjust.
  • Stay hydrated - aeroplane cabins have low humidity and there’s a big chance that you’ll get dehydrated if you don’t stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during and after your flight to prevent dehydration. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol too, as these are likely to enhance jet lag symptoms!
  • Get plenty of sleep before your flight - stress and lack of sleep can make jet lag symptoms worse.
  • Get some sleep on the plane - get some sleep if you’re arriving at night. Block out light and noise using earplugs, eye masks, and headphones.
  • Live your new schedule - before your flight, set your watch to the time at your destination. Eat and sleep according to your new schedule.
  • Regulate exposure to bright light - if you’re travelling westward, exposure to light in the evening will help. Exposure to morning light, on the other hand, can help you adjust to earlier time zones when travelling eastward.

Talk to Our Experts at Express Pharmacy

Jet lag is normal and jet lag symptoms will go away on their own as soon as your body adjusts to the new time zone. If you suffer from severe jet lag symptoms or find it too difficult to manage, talk to our experts on 020 8123 0703 or browse our jet lag treatments today.

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