Jet lag is when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight. Symptoms usually improve within a few days as your body adjusts to the new time zone.
Ways to reduce jet lag
Jet lag can’t be prevented, but there are things you can do to reduce its effects.
Before you travel
get plenty of rest
relax before going to bed and follow good sleep practices
gradually change your sleep routine – start going to bed and getting up an hour or two earlier or later than usual (in line with the time of your destination)
eat large meals, exercise, use electronic gadgets, or drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks before bedtime
During your flight
drink plenty of water
sleep if it’s a normal time for sleeping at your destination
use an eye mask and earplugs if they help you sleep
keep active by stretching and regularly walking around the cabin
drink too much caffeine or alcohol – they can make jet lag worse
After you arrive
change your sleep schedule to the new time zone as quickly as possible
set an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning
go outside during the day – natural light will help your body clock adjust
go to sleep until a reasonable hour for your new destination
If your trip is short (2 to 3 days) it may be better to stay on “home time”.
If possible, eat and sleep at the times you would at home.
Medicines aren’t usually needed for jet lag.
Symptoms often improve after a few days as your body clock adjusts to the new time zone.
Sleeping tablets may be helpful if you’re having problems sleeping (insomnia). They can be addictive so should only be used for a short time and if symptoms are severe.
Melatonin is a chemical released by the body in the evening to let your brain know it’s time to sleep. Melatonin supplements can be used but aren’t recommended for jet lag because there isn’t enough evidence that they work.
Symptoms of jet lag
The main symptoms are sleep-related. They include:
difficulty sleeping at bedtime and waking up in the morning
tiredness and exhaustion
finding it difficult to stay awake during the day
poor sleep quality
concentration and memory problems
Jet lag can also be associated with indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.
What is Circadin?
Melatonin (trade name Circadin) is a prescription only medication available in the UK. The active substance of Circadin,melatonin, belongs to a natural groupof hormones produced by the body. Circadin is used on its own for the short-term treatment of primary insomnia can be used to help treat the symptoms of jet lag. It’s used on its own for the short-term treatment of insomnia, and should not be taken for more than 13 weeks.
For more information about jet lag, click here.
How to Take
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
The recommended dose is one Circadin tablet (2 mg) taken daily by mouth, after food, 1-2 hours before bedtime. This dosage may be
continued for up to thirteen weeks.You should swallow the tablet whole. Tablets should not be crushed or cut in half.
Do not drink alcohol before, during or after taking Circadin, because it reduces the effectiveness.
Smoking is usually not advised, with as it may make the melatonin less effective.
Do not take Circadin
– if you are allergic to melatonin or any of the other ingredients of this medicine.
Circadin with food, drink and alcohol
Circadin contains lactose monohydrate. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact
your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take Circadin if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding. Ask your doctor or
pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.
Driving and using machines
May cause drowsiness. If you are affected, you should not drive or operate machinery. If you sufer from continued drowsiness, then you should consult your doctor.
See our full list of available prescription treatmeants, click here.
Like all medicines, this medicine cancause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If you experience any of the following serious side effcts, stop taking the
medicine and contact your doctorimmediately:
Uncommon: (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
– Chest pain
Rare: (may affect up to 1 in 1000 people)
– Loss of consciousness or fainting
– Severe chest pain due to angina
– Feeling your heartbeat
– Visual impairment
– Blurred vision
– Vertigo (a feeling of dizziness or
– Presence of red blood cells in the
– Reduced number of white blood
cells in the blood
– Reduced blood platelets, which
increases risk of bleeding or
If you experience any of the following non-serious side effects contact your
doctor and/or seek medical advice:
For a full list of side effects please see patient information leaflet.
Further information can be found on the manufacturers
Paitient Information Leaflet and printed if required.