Melatonin for jet lag or insomnia?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by violist, Feb 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    7,782
    Status Points:
    6,770
    Any experience?

    Lately I've found that for me, an effective
    dose is 0.4 mg or so - 1/6 to 1/8 of a 3 mg
    tablet. More than that gives no longer
    sleep but does cause bizarre dreams and
    post-awakening disorientation or what
    approaches a state of depression. Less than
    that I don't know, because these tablets
    don't easily break up smaller than 1/8.

    What happens: a pleasant drowsiness about
    an hour after ingestion. If I go to sleep
    then, I get 5-6 hours of rest, no matter
    where I've gone or whether I'm full of
    caffeine (without it, coffee-tea-chocolate
    gives me the jumps); I wake up slightly
    drowsy, but it's easy to shake that off.
     
  2. SirRagnar
    Original Member

    SirRagnar Silver Member

    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    847
    Status Points:
    700
    I use melatonin also.
    I only ever take it on planes if it correlates to the timezone which I am landing in though, e.g. if I am in a flight from CPH to HKG I will take the melatonin when the time is 10pm HK-time.
    Always take the melatonin roughly an hour before you would normally sleep in the time zone you are arriving at.
    I will not use melatonin in-flight if it cannot be timed with the timezone I am landing in. E.g. if I am going CPH-EWR on the morning flight with arrival at 11am.
    If one is looking for sleeping aid only, melatonin is only the answer if the timing can be done. Otherwise, I'd recommend diphenhydramine preparations.

    I am surprised you get any effect of 0.4mg as that is well below the therapeutic dose.
    I use 1mg per time zone, so generally 5-6 mg for a trip from CPH to HKG. (This is a normal oral tablet formulation, not sublingual)

    Melatonin is the hormone that controls the circadian rhythm and by taking it you can trick the brain into thinking it is the natural time to sleep - that is why the timing is so important. If you 'reset' the clock at a time that is some time in the afternoon at the place of arrival you will make the jet lag much worse (it can be countered by taking another melatonin dose at sleeping time though).

    And for reference I have a master in pharmacy, so I am not just pulling this out of the air :)
     
    Freddie Listo likes this.
  3. shane
    Original Member

    shane Silver Member

    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Status Points:
    720
    I find very similar results. When I first tried melatonin it was in a 300μg tablet. Those worked perfectly for me.

    The next time I purchased it from another manufacturer, it was 3mg. Way too much and it didn't help me sleep one bit.

    Trader Joe's sells peppermint flavored chewable melatonin tablets in a 500μg dose and those also seem to be in the sweet spot. At one point I'd found an article online explaining the diminishing returns on melatonin as you increase the dosage. It seems counterintuitive, but that's how it works.
     
    Freddie Listo likes this.
  4. SirRagnar
    Original Member

    SirRagnar Silver Member

    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    847
    Status Points:
    700
    Just for clarification, when I mention 5-6 mg I am talking about normal oral tablets. If you take it sub-lingual as with the tablets you mention the drug goes directly in the blood and thereby avoid the first pass metabolism of the liver that the oral formulations undergo. Therefore the sub-lingual doses should be much smaller (i.e. 0.5 to 1.0 mg).
     
    Freddie Listo likes this.
  5. Freddie Listo
    Original Member

    Freddie Listo Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,767
    Likes Received:
    32,961
    Status Points:
    10,720
    Thanks for this info. I've purchased melatonin, but chickened out when it came time to take it.
     
  6. Bob Smolinsky
    Original Member

    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,346
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Status Points:
    10,575
    Red wine.....in fact, Red wine solves pretty much anything!
     
  7. eightblack
    Original Member

    eightblack Silver Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    379
    Status Points:
    470
    I would agree. I have tried with melatonin for a while now and I think its useless. 3-4 glasses of champagne before dinner, a bottle or 2 of anything decent during dinner and then a soothing port and I'm good to go.

    If you're going to take a tablet, take Ambien or similar.
     
  8. violist
    Original Member

    violist Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    7,782
    Status Points:
    6,770
    I thought it was nonsense the first couple times I tried it,
    but with the dose cut severely, it seems to work as claimed.

    Could it be that taking the prescribed dose fools your
    endocrine system into imagining that its work was done,
    so it lolls around doing nothing, whereas a tiny dose wakes
    it up, or primes the pump, whatever metaphor you want.
     

Share This Page