26.12.2014
Refunds by law: In Australia, consumers have a legal right to obtain a refund from a business for goods purchased if the goods are faulty, not fit for purpose or don't match description. Besides the lack of hydration, uncomfortable seating position and questionable food we are subjected to during an economy flight, the main reason why jetlag catches up on us is to do with our circadian rhythm being desynchronised.
Travelling west will also make jetlag easier to recover from due to the circadian rhythm being temporarily prolonged to about 27 hours, making it easier for the body to adapt (Reilly T). Suffering from jet lag may be inconvenient for someone coming back from a holiday or the occasional business trip but it can have further implications for those travelling more regularly as a part of their day-to-day lifestyle. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), the amount of days jet lag could last for can be calculated. Jet lag can no doubt take its toll for sporting teams and businessmen who must travel as part of their job but there usually is a period of rest for the body to recover from crossing multiple time zones.
Another study on 45 female flight attendants and 26 teachers confirmed the variability in melatonin production as high as 25% was twice as likely to be associated with flight attendants (Blosser F).


Available as a 2mg prescription tablet in Australia, melatonin can help combat jet lag easily and with minimal side-effects. Nine out of ten randomised trials on airline passengers, airline staff and military personnel crossing five or more time zones saw decreased jet lag symptoms in subjects when melatonin was taken one hour before the destination bedtime (10pm to midnight). Adjusting to a new time zone before arrival, known as preentrainment, can be another way of dealing with jet lag. Another study from the same research team combined morning bright light exposure with afternoon doses of melatonin over three days before a flight.
Previously, the typical method of dealing with jet lag would be drinking yourself to sleep on the flight followed by a stupendous amount of coffee consumed on arrival. One example of a monoamine is melatonin, which is affected by sunlight over a 24-hour period (circadian rhythm). The results showed the body could not even adapt to the stress of jet lag with some participants having as much as four years experience in the field (Cho K, Ennaceur A, Cole JC, Suh CK).


Although, the Therapeutic Goods Administration does not advise taking melatonin in combination with alcohol, Thioridazine and Imipramine, and benzodiazepine or other hypnotics.
Doses of melatonin closer to 5mg were seen to be significantly more effective than a slow-release 2mg dose (Herxheimer A, Petrie KJ).
Until we make genetic advances to cope with jet lag however, the other options available today are safe and effective for returning back to your regular time zone.



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