Jet lag occurs when we travel across multiple time zones by air. Anyone who has experienced jet lag knows that it causes sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness, and can impair performance after landing. A team of researchers has investigated the effects of slow release caffeine (SRC) and melatonin (Mlt) on recovery sleep and daytime sleepiness after a seven-time zone eastbound flight and found that both drugs have positive effects on some jet lag symptoms after an eastbound flight. They found that SRC alleviates daytime sleepiness but exerts some unwanted effects on sleep. By contrast, Mlt was found to improve sleep but did not objectively mitigate sleepiness.
This study is part of a large, real-world French-American study called "Operation Pegasus" in which some 140 physiological, psychological, and biological parameters are measured. These results may be part of a larger plan for travelers looking to fine-tune for freshness after a long-haul flight.
A New Study
Additional studies are required to evaluate fully the effects of these SRC and Mlt on recovery sleep and sleepiness after an eastbound flight.
The American Physiological Society (APS) was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied science, much of it relating to human health. The Bethesda, MD-based Society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 3,800 articles in its 14 peer-reviewed journals every year.
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