Some people take supplements to help with jet lag. However, there is no evidence that vitamin supplements help with jet lag symptoms. Some research suggests that melatonin may benefit a person experiencing jet lag.
Jet lag is a circadian rhythm disorder that occurs when a person’s internal clock is out of alignment with their external environment. Symptoms can include:
- difficulty sleeping
- poor sleep quality
- memory problems
This article provides an overview of melatonin as a supplement for jet lag, outlines different types of vitamins that may benefit fatigue and sleep, and discusses possible side effects and contraindications. We also look at other remedies and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Research indicates that 2 in 3 people may experience jet lag. Symptoms usually occur within 1 or 2 days after a person crosses at least two time zones. The more time zones a person crosses, the higher their risk of jet lag.
Jet lag resolves gradually after
Other studies have found possible beneficial effects of consuming caffeine during sustained wake times.
Still, because researchers have performed only a limited number of studies on these remedies, there is no specific dosage recommendation, and more research is necessary.
Vitamin supplements for jet lag are becoming popular — in one
Research continues in this area, as it is not clear how much benefit vitamins may provide for jet lag.
The vitamins below may provide benefits for the following:
- sleep duration
- sleep regulation
- sleep deprivation
However, there is no evidence to suggest that they reduce jet lag. We will look at their general benefits, side effects, and contraindications.
Vitamin B complex supplements consist of all eight essential water-soluble B vitamins in one capsule. Many B-complex supplements contain about 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of each of the eight B vitamins, which
- vitamin B1, or thiamine
- vitamin B2, or riboflavin
- vitamin B3, or niacin
- vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid
- vitamin B6, or pyridoxine
- vitamin B7, or biotin
- vitamin B9, or folic acid
- vitamin B12, or cobalamin
Research on the links between jet lag and vitamin B supplements is limited, but some studies have investigated the effects of B vitamins on insomnia and fatigue.
The above research could prove useful for scientists studying the effects of jet lag-associated fatigue and insomnia.
B vitamins are water-soluble and generally safe even at high doses. Generally, there is insufficient evidence of the adverse effects of taking more than the recommended dose of vitamin B.
However, high dose vitamins can turn urine bright yellow. This is usually harmless.
Taking very high doses of supplemental B3 (niacin)
A person should speak with a doctor to determine the safest dosage and discuss any concerns.
Vitamin B is generally safe and does not have associations with serious side effects.
There is a
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. People obtain their RDA of vitamin C from
While vitamin C may help reduce sleep disturbance, there is currently no evidence that it is helpful for jet lag specifically.
- increase antioxidants
- enhance sleep duration
- reduce sleep disturbances
- relieve movement disorders
- decrease the dangerous effects of sleep apnea
These benefits may be helpful for a person experiencing jet lag, but research has not yet determined this.
Vitamin C may also promote improvements in:
- immune function
The average adult dose of vitamin C is
Doctors usually administer this orally, but people may receive it as an IV, directly into the bloodstream, if a medical professional suspects a diagnosis of malabsorption.
Taking high doses of vitamin C supplements can cause the following adverse effects:
- osmotic diarrhea
- gastrointestinal distress
- kidney stone formation
Other possible adverse effects include:
Certain medical conditions and other factors may increase the risk of interactions with vitamin C,
Before taking vitamin C, a person should speak with their doctor about their medical history.
Although the human body produces vitamin D with sun exposure, a person can increase their vitamin D levels through diet or supplements.
More studies must clarify the possible benefits and determine this vitamin’s link to jet lag.
Various studies suggest that vitamin D also plays important roles in immune function and regulation of inflammation.
The current daily recommendation for vitamin D is
Many people may need more than this amount to reach and maintain sufficient vitamin D levels. A person should have a blood test to measure the amount of vitamin D in the blood.
A healthcare professional may recommend dosages at or near the upper limit for some time to treat a vitamin D deficiency.
Taking large amounts of vitamin D could be harmful. High levels of vitamin D in the blood can cause:
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- muscle weakness
- excessive urination and thirst
Vitamin D supplements may not be the right treatment option for a person if they take medications for some health conditions.
Some medications —
However, a person taking diuretics may experience increased blood calcium levels if they take vitamin D supplements.
People should discuss their medications with a doctor to determine what suits them.
However, research has not yet shown these effects in humans. It is also unclear whether this treatment could benefit a person with jet lag, as researchers have not yet undertaken studies of this nature.
The RDA for vitamin E for adults is
In supplement form, high doses of vitamin E may
However, the vitamin E naturally present in food and beverages is not harmful, and people do not need to limit their intake of it.
Because vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding, people taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications should consult a doctor before taking this vitamin.
Additionally, taking vitamin E supplements while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer could alter the
The Food and Drug Administration
Health experts recommend that people taking supplements choose a brand carefully and discuss it with a pharmacist or doctor.
Alternative remedies that may improve jet lag symptoms
- getting light exposure, such as sunshine or light therapy
- drinking lots of water
- taking melatonin supplements at a dose of up to 5 mg
- using sedative drugs in the short term, if a doctor prescribes them
Usually, symptoms of jet lag improve after a few days. A person should contact a doctor or sleep specialist if symptoms persist or if they experience jet lag often.
Below are some FAQs about jet lag.
Is jet lag bad for you?
Symptoms of jet lag are temporary, ranging from mild to moderate, and are usually not dangerous. Jet lag typically resolves within a few days.
What are the side effects of jet lag?
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), symptoms of jet lag include:
- difficulty sleeping at bedtime and waking up in the morning
- tiredness and exhaustion
- difficulty staying awake during the day
- poor sleep quality
- concentration and memory problems
Jet lag can also sometimes cause:
Is there a cure for jet lag?
The NHS notes that there is no cure for jet lag. However, certain medications and home remedies can offer relief.
Is it possible to prevent jet lag?
A person may not be able to prevent jet lag. However, by following a doctor’s prescribed treatment and using home remedies, they may be able to reduce symptom severity.
Jet lag is a temporary circadian rhythm sleep disorder that affects people who travel across two or more time zones within a short time.
It occurs when the internal body clock is out of sync with the environment. It can cause tiredness, sleep disturbance, gastrointestinal issues, and other symptoms.
A person may be able to take certain vitamins to counteract the symptoms of jet lag. Each vitamin has benefits, possible side effects, and contraindications. Before taking any supplement, people should consult a doctor to determine the safety and suitability for their health.