jet lag

Natural Ways to Relieve Jet Lag

Have some summer air travel planned? Natural remedies can help make the journey more enjoyable.

By Karen Morse, MPH

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While jet leg is a temporary problem, it can put a real damper on your summer vacation if traveling across multiple times zones spells lack of sleep.

Symptoms of jet lag include daytime sleepiness and fatigue, headaches and even stomach upset in some travelers. You can minimize symptoms by staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest before your trip and avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol during your journey.

Natural remedies for jet lag can help you sleep and reduce other common symptoms once you’ve arrived at your destination.


This is a hormone made in the brain that helps to control your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels typically start to rise in the evening and remain high during the night signaling your body that it is time to sleep. Levels begin to drop in the morning hours telling your body that it’s time to awaken.

Crossing time zones can disrupt this natural cycle, so taking a melatonin supplement can help to regulate your circadian rhythm. Typical doses of melatonin range from 0.5 mg to 5 mg. Experts advise starting at the lowest dose and working your way up if you are still having difficulty sleeping.

Try thisNatrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets

Available in 1 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg vegetarian tablets. Take one about 20 minutes before bedtime.


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen, more commonly known as NADH, is derived from vitamin B3 and is naturally-occurring in the body with a role in energy production.

Subjects enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study who were given 20 milligrams of NADH after crossing multiple time zones performed better when given tests to assess changes in their cognitive functioning than subjects who had received a placebo. The NADH group also reported less sleepiness than the placebo group.

Try thisNOW Foods NADH 10 mg Vegetarian Capsules

In addition to 10 milligrams of energy-producing NADH, these non-GMO, dairy and gluten-free capsules also contain D-ribose to further boost energy.


Valerian root has been used as a sleep aid and to reduce restlessness since the 1800s. Since valerian also has a mild sedative effect, it can also help you relax before bedtime.

Studies have shown that valerian is able to decrease sleep latency, or the number of minutes it takes for you to fall asleep.

Effective dosages range from 300 to 600 milligrams taken approximately one hour before bedtime.

Try this: Nature’s Way Valerian Root Capsules

These non-GMO, gluten-free capsules contain 530 mg of valerian root to naturally promote a restful sleep.





Karen Morse

Karen Morse, MPH, is a freelance health and nutrition writer. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, exploring nearby hiking trails and cooking up fresh, seasonal eats in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, and others.

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