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Is it safe to take melatonin for jet lag?

Feb 2nd, 2017 by

The number of Americans taking the supplement has doubled in five years – but it is controversial and not available over the counter in the UK. So does it work?

Jet lag can be more than just an inconvenience for long-distance travellers. Arriving in a far-off destination where the time no longer matches your internal body clock can trigger insomnia, lethargy and reduced alertness. Which is hardly ideal if you are delivering an important presentation or trying to seal a big deal.

There is little surprise, then, that growing numbers of people are popping pills to counter the effects of jet lag. A government survey published last year found that 3.1 million Americans – 1.3% of the population – take melatonin supplements for jet lag and other sleep problems. Its use more than doubled in the US between 2007 and 2012.

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