Jet Lag treatment options
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Jet Lag Tablets
You can order jet lag treatment tablets online, from our UK registered online pharmacy service. After completing an online assessment, our prescriber will review your order and make sure the medication is suitable for you. If approved, a prescription will be passed to our pharmacy to dispense and dispatch to your chosen delivery address.
Jet Lag tablets contain melatonin, which is a drug which can be used for the prevention and treatment of jet lag. Jet lag occurs when the body finds it difficult to adjust to a new time zone. This disrupts your natural sleeping pattern and can result in several days of disturbed sleep.
Melatonin is the hormone produced by the body which helps in the regulation of when you sleep. When melatonin levels are elevated at night, this allows you to sleep. As the levels increase cyclically, it can be difficult for the body to create more melatonin when travelling, to allow you to feel sleepy at the right time.
Jet Lag Treatment
Melatonin is a chemical that is produced in the brain to create signals for the body to sleep. Tablets are available that contain Melatonin, which can be useful in people that experience insomnia associated with jet lag. If you are planning on travelling between time zones, speak with a member of our team to find out if this option is beneficial for you.
Circadin 2mg Tablets are available to buy online from Cloud Pharmacy. Circadin is a prolonged-release tablet containing melatonin that helps to treat the insomnia caused by jet lag. When Circadin is taken correctly it can help adjust the body’s circadian rhythm to that of the new time zone. Usually one Circadin 2mg tablet is taken at night, about an hour before going to bed. It should be used between two to four nights upon arriving in the new time zone. Circadin is only recommended as a suitable treatment should your destination’s time zone be more than three hours different from the UK.
Non-medicinal techniques that can be adopted to help treat jet lag include:
- Avoid napping when you reach your new destination. It’s important to remain active until you reach the correct time for sleep in your new time zone.
- Spend time outdoors exposed to natural sunlight. This will help your body adjust to the new time zone.
- Change your meal times to correspond with your new time zone.
Some people find that using the tips above will sufficiently ease jet lag, however others may still require further assistance to overcome the problem. Travellers may be tempted to take traditional sleeping tablets; this is not advisable as often the sleep produced by sleeping tablets is not natural and can have a ‘hangover’ effect in the morning. This can work to worsen the effects of jet lag.
What are the symptoms of Jet Lag?
The severity of the jet lag symptoms will be dependent on the distance travelled and the number of time zones crossed. Most people find that you need to cross at least three time zones before experiencing the symptoms of jet lag. The degree of suffering will vary from person to person with the most common symptoms being sleep disturbance. Sufferers may encounter difficulty adjusting to new time zones. For example, it may be day time in the new time zone but your body clock hasn’t adjusted and feels like it needs to sleep. Alternatively, it may be night time in the new time zone, yet you find yourself feeling wide awake and unable to sleep.
Other jet lag symptoms include:
- Indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea
- Headaches, nausea and loss of appetite
- Anxiety and irritability
- Feelings of disorientation, lethargy and light-headedness
- Feeling confused
- Difficulty concentrating and clumsiness
What is Jet Lag?
We experience jet lag when we travel through different time zones on long flights and our body's ‘clock’ can’t keep up with the change in time zones. As our ‘body clock’ is controlled by hormones that are slow to react to changes, a quick change in time zones, such as from a long haul flight, results in you still running at the time of your previous location for a number of days until your body adapts. This can leave you awake at unsociable hours and tired during the day; this can cause problems, especially on business trips.
How does Jet Lag affect someone?
Scientists tell us that jet lag is caused due to disruptions in our body’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the physical, mental and behavioural changes we experience during the length of a day (24 hours) as our body reacts to changes in light and darkness in our environment. Circadian rhythms play a very significant role in determining our sleep patterns. When our body’s circadian rhythms are disrupted, we experience various psychological and physiological effects like fatigue, irritability, etc.
Jet lag is caused by your body struggling to reset its ‘clock’, know as the circadian rhythm. Travelling quickly across time zones means that your body struggles to adapt to the new hours of light and dark, leaving the hormones that control your circadian rhythm out of sync. This can be particularly problematic when flying East as this means you must adapt to a shorter day, something your body finds particularly hard.
Common symptoms of jet lag may include trouble falling asleep, early waking up, interrupted sleep, headaches, fatigue, trouble in passing bowel movements and reduced appetite.
Do you always experience the same Jet Lag?
We don’t always experience the same amount of jet lag. Jet lag is worse when you are travelling from West to East than East to West. According to studies, when you fly east, the time it takes for you to recover from jet lag (in days) is roughly two-thirds of the number of time zones you cross. If you cross six time zones, you should take 4 days to recover from jet lag. However, if you are flying west, the time taken to recover from jet lag (in days) is half the number of time zones you cross, which means that if you are crossing six time zones, you will recover in 3 days.
How does Melatonin help reduce Jet Lag?
Melatonin is a hormone that plays a significant role in regulating bodily rhythms and is used as a drug to realign people with the difference in time zones. Melatonin (Circadin) is available from Cloud Pharmacy to fight the symptoms of jet lag and allow your body to adjust to external time. Taking melatonin close to the target bedtime at your destination (10pm to midnight), decreases jet lag.
Melatonin is recommended for short term use if you are travelling across multiple time zones. It is advisable to take melatonin after dark on the day you travel and at the same time for a few days after arriving at your destination if you are travelling westward. If you are travelling eastward, it is recommended that you take melatonin in the evening for a few days before flying out. The time at which you take melatonin every day has to be consistent because any delay can cause disruptions in how quickly your circadian rhythms adjust with and adapt to external tim
Does Melatonin have any side effects?
Melatonin’s side effects for long-term use have not been established yet. If you are on blood-thinning medication, you should seek medical advice before taking melatonin.
Can I treat Jet Lag with sleeping tablets or alcohol?
Neither of these approaches are recommended. Both sleeping pills and alcohol tend to 'knock you out'. They don't produce a natural sleep and therefore will not help to change your body's natural (circadian) rhythm. They also tend to add to the 'hangover' you already feel from changing time zones and being out of sync.