Traveldoctor - International Travel Health

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The human body has a normal cycle of sleep and being awake, and will try to follow this cycle.

  • If we try to stay awake and thereby stretch the usual 24-hour cycle we become sleepy and tired or have problems falling asleep.
  • Travels eastwards gives less problem than travels westwards.
  • A rough rule says that it takes as many days to fully compensate travels over several time zones as the number of hours between the previous and present time zone.

    How can jetlag be reduced?
  • Do not start tired
  • Sleep during the flight
  • Drink abundantly during the travel (not alcohol).
  • At the destination, follow the local time

    Drugs against jetlag?
    • The drug Melatonin is a brain hormone, which influence sleep.
    • Melatonin taken as a drug has a certain effect of sleep patterns.
    • Melatonin is sold as a food supplement, but the content is not always declared and the effect therefore uncertain.
    • Melatonin has side effects as all drugs, most commonly headache, nausea and sleep disturbances.

    There are other good advices but they lack documentation.

    Edited 26 December 2008