Readjusting the "biological clock"PDF print version
When taking long-distance flights across the time zones, airline passengers experience time shifts, which deviate from their biological rhythm. Not only is the sleeping and waking rhythm upset, but also the regular sequence of a number of physical functions generally subjected to a 24 hour period. The "time shift syndrome" occurs. Typical symptoms include a sense of exhaustion, reduced responsiveness, a limitation of the ability to remember and concentrate as well as a feeling of hunger at the "inappropriate times", often coupled with a chronologically disoriented need to urinate or defecate.
How to deal with jetlag
How can we best cope with disorders of our body's "biological clock" caused by time zone changes?
Melatonine tablets are highly praised, especially in the United States, as a drug for surmounting jetlag. Despite thus far positive experience with these "anti-jetlag tablets", both the effect, and especially the side effects, have yet to be thoroughly tested. Under normal circumstances, melatonine is an endogenic hormone (produced inside the body), which means that taking additional amounts represents an intervention in the hormone system. Studies are currently being run, testing the proper dosage, the time to take the medication, as well as the efficacy and the side effects of melatonine tablets. Until we have the results of these studies, it is a good idea to avoid the uncontrolled taking of these tablets.
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