Melatonin is considered to be a godsend by some frequent fliers however the latest recent review by Consumerlab.com still urges cautious use. Research data remains inconsistent on melatonin’s ability to cure jet lag but it is showing promise in the area of children with sleep problems, nicotine withdrawal and adults coming off sleep medication.
Of the 19 brands tested by ConsumerLabonly one failed and that was on account of being inappropriately labelled. It is still necessary to point out that neither the FDA or any other regarded drug administration body monitors the quality of the supplement. As a result tests were performed against the stated labels claims.
Melatonin is an amino acid derived hormone responsible for influencing the sleep wake cycle in human beings. As darkness increases melatonin levels increase and as light increases melatonin levels decrease. Melatonin is also a very powerful antioxidant. It was once thought that melatonin decreases with age but this now regarded as debatable.
Melatonin in supplement form is mostly synthetic but chemically identical to the real thing. If it is not labelled vegetarian, synthetic or non animal, it carries the risk of being of bovine origin and the concern of mad cow disease. Reading the label should put your mind at rest.
The main takeaways from this review are
- Melatonin is still not the ideal cure for jet lag, although it may help reset natural sleep patterns.
- Adults using Melatonin (for other related problems) may get better use by using a dose less or more than the recommended 3mg.
- Drowsiness and impaired mental function may last for up to 6 hrs after use.
- Testosterone and estrogen hormones may be upset with regular high dosage use.
- Melatonin use with other drugs is suspect so always check with your healthcare practitioner.
- Melatonin side effects include nausea, headaches and drowsiness.
The mixed nature of the conclusions of this review highlight the need to proceed with caution if you use melatonin as part of a protocol for jet lag. My own take on the matter is to use more natural ways to influence the sleep wake cycle which includes 5HTP, amino acids, GABA and mind entrainment tools. The benefits of which are an obtainable and sustainable jet lag solution.
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via Christopher BABAYODE’s blog at Ecademy http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=176513