Why melatonin is your secret weapon for beating jet lag

Airline crews and savvy travellers rely on this 100% natural substance for regulating the body's natural sleep cycle.

By Staff Writers, January 4 2024
Why melatonin is your secret weapon for beating jet lag

Travel is a wonderful experience – be it for business, pleasure or a mix of both.

However, trying to adjust to different timezone scan leave you fatigued and jet-lagged for days, both as your trip begins and once you get home.

As it happens, your body produces a natural sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin which helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle.

Melatonin is produced in response to darkness, and it’s how your body keeps its circadian rhythm – that internal ’24-hour clock’ – ticking along.

Taking natural melatonin tablets is a gentle yet effective and 100% natural way to tell your body it’s time to sleep.  which makes melatonin the ideal supplement to help you sleep on a flight or help your body adjust to a new timezone.

That’s why so many airline pilots, cabin crew and frequent flyers include melatonin tablets, caplets, drops and soft chewable ‘gummies’ in their travel kit.

(Melatonin is also popular with shift workers who must content with working all sorts of odd hours from one week to the next.) 

Taking melatonin supplements at the appropriate time helps reset your body clock and bring it in sync with a new timezone, even on short hops around the Asia-Pacific region.

You’ll fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed, minimising the impact of jet lag so you’re better able to enjoy your destination or be in sharp form for those business meetings.

Melatonin also ensures a deeper and more restorative sleep in unfamiliar environments such as hotel rooms or noisy airplane cabins.

And because melatonin is a natural substance, you body is already ‘programmed’ to respond quickly to melatonin. It’s also non-addictive, making it a superior option to the chemicals of synthetic sleeping pills.

Buying Melatonin over the counter in Australia

Despite the many benefits of melatonin, it’s available ‘over the counter’ in Australia only to people aged 55 or over: and even then, all the chemist dispensary will give you are meagre 2mg tablets, limited to one box of 30 per month, for upwards of $30.

The ‘off the shelf’ alternative is what’s called homeopathic melatonin. It’s immensely watered-down, to the point where the producers don’t even reveal how much melatonin you’re getting (just meaningless marketing fluff like ‘4x’ or ‘6x’), and widely considered to be useless.

You don’t have to take our word for it: Australian consumer watchdog Choice hit Melatonin Homeopathic Sleep Formula with its much-feared Shonky award, saying “there's no reliable evidence that homeopathic melatonin has any effect other than as a placebo.”

If you want to tap into the benefits of melatonin, then you want the real deal.

The world’s best melatonin is one click away

Executive Traveller has partnered with iHerb – the world’s online retailer of nutritional and healthcare products – to provide you with one-click access to a range of top-rated melatonin supplements at competitive international pricing, with fast free global shipping so you’ll be ready for your next trip. 

iHerb carries an almost dizzying selection of melatonin products, but we’ve relied on the Natrol range over the years with great success.

If you’ve never used melatonin before, consider starting with Natrol Melatonin 3mg (AU$16 for 60 tablets).

But generally speaking, Natrol Melatonin Extra-Strength 5mg (AU$15 for 60 tablets) or Natrol Melatonin Time-Release 10mg (AU$29 for 100 tablets) will be your go-to for sleep success.

If you’re flying with kids in tow, or even want to encourage proper sleeping patterns for them at home, try Natrol’s gentle low-dose (1mg) berry-flavoured melatonin gummies (AU$20 for a pack of 60 gummies, or AU$26 for a pack of 90 gummies).

An alternative for travellers of all ages are the unique Life Extension Liquid Melatonin Drops (AU$13).

Each 1ml dose contains 3mg of melatonin (you can easily dial that dose down to 1mg if desired) in a delicious fast-acting sugar-free liquid formula that's quickly absorbed, and the 59ml bottle slips easily into your carry-on toiletries pack.

You can also take advantage of iHerb’s extensive range, competitive prices and free shipping (for all orders over AU$80) for sports supplements, beauty products, multivitamins, NMN and more.