Melatonin, also called the hormone of darkness, is naturally produced in our body. This hormone is released as the night approaches or when the body perceives darkness. A lack of adequate amount of this hormone is linked to a disturbed sleep.
The use of melatonin pills can be beneficial for the executives who suffer from a loss of sleep due to melatonin deficiency.
The causes of melatonin deficiency in executives and entrepreneurs include:
Managers have to deal with the pressure to meet the demands of the career, work overload, and job insecurity. These stress-inducing factors can lower the production of melatonin thereby affecting sleep.
A study conducted at the International Journal of Tryptophan Research has shown that mental stress can also make the melatonin produced in your body less effective thereby reducing the quality and duration of sleep.
A research published in the Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease has revealed that the impact of the disrupted circadian rhythm due to the rapid travel across several time zones can cause serious problems in the business travelers and pilots who need to make quick critical decisions. Managers who have to travel frequently to different time zones have melatonin deficiency as the body fails to regulate and maintain the circadian rhythm due to the repeatedly changing schedule.
Scientific research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has shown that melatonin deficiency may also occur due to the exposure to artificial lights at the night. Also, executives, who have to work for prolonged hours in the office extending into the evening hours, tend to develop a deficiency of this hormone.
The constant exposure to the light emitted by laptops as well as the bright light in the office settings hampers the melatonin secretion resulting in sleep disorders.
Melatonin pills offer a synthetic form of the hormone, usually in a dose that’s higher than the amount naturally produced by the pineal gland in the body. Melatonin works by acting on melatonin receptors situated at the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei, a site that regulates the circadian clock. Basically, this helps to reset disturbed circadian rhythm and promotes a refreshing sleep.
Experimental data published in the Current Treatment Options in Neurology suggests that metalation pills can help to reset the body’s normal circadian rhythm. It can also promote the sleep onset and improve the sleep duration.
This can be beneficial for the managers who are frequent travelers. The ability of melatonin pills to reset the circadian rhythm can also help to reduce the risk of sleep disorders such as insomnia, and sleep apnea.
Melatonin pills can also be used to advance or delay the circadian clock by timing their intake with the intended sleep schedule.
Research published in the Oxford Academic has shown that the daily intake of melatonin supplement can advance the sleep-wake rhythm and the endogenous melatonin rhythm in the managers who suffer from delayed sleep phase disorder, such as crossing different time zones.
It can also reduce the time needed to fall asleep by advancing the sleep onset time.
A research published in the BioMed Central has provided evidence that Melatonin supplements can be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of anxiety.
It is believed to work by regulating the body’s circadian rhythm and improving the quality of sleep. This can prevent insomnia and stress, which are the common causes of anxiety in managers.
Yes. Many studies show that. For instance, research published in the Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews has indicated that melatonin pills can be remarkably effective for preventing and reducing jet lag.
Travelling across time zones can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm. This study has provided evidence to suggest that the use of melatonin for jet lag can be beneficial for the executives to reset their circadian rhythm according to the new time zone. If you are flying eastward, you need to phase advance your biological clock. On the other hand, if you are flying westward, you need to phase delay the rhythm. The results of this study showed that the use of melatonin pills can help managers flying across more than five time zones, particularly in the easterly direction, to get a sound sleep at night.
Additionally, managers who have to travel across different time zones often experience unpleasant symptoms such as reduced alertness, loss of appetite, poor psychomotor coordination, depressed mood, and reduced cognitive skills.
These symptoms also occur due to the disruption in the body’s sleep-wake cycle. The use of melatonin for jet lag can be highly effective for managing these symptoms.
In fact, a study published in the Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease has shown that loss of sleep and fatigue caused by jet lag can be reduced significantly by using melatonin supplements.
Melatonin pills have been found to be effective for preventing jet lag, which causes a lot of inconvenience to the long-distance travelers. Arriving at a destination having a time zone drastically different from your body’s biological clock can trigger drowsiness, and sleeplessness, and reduces the level of alertness.
These symptoms cannot be termed ideal for the executives when they have to deliver an important presentation or crack a big deal.
In such situations, taking melatonin can help the body to adjust to the new routine of sleep-wake cycle thereby allowing travelling managers to overcome jet lag quickly.
The use of melatonin pills improves the level of alertness during the daytime and enhance their productivity at the tasks they want to accomplish during their on-site visit.
At the same time, it can also help them sleep well when it is the nighttime in the new time zone by providing appropriate signals to the brain.
Melatonin supplements may also be useful to adjust to the sleep-wake cycle upon returning to your own country. After returning from the business trip managers have to readjust their schedule according to the time zone of their home country.
Taking melatonin pills a couple of hours before the intended bedtime can help them get a sound sleep and adjust to their routine sleep-wake cycle much quickly.
The time of taking the dose of melatonin for jet lag should be determined after taking into consideration the direction of the flight, and the flight time in your itinerary.
Research published in the Sleep Medicine Clinics has revealed that the body takes a longer time to reset and re-entrain the internal circadian clock after an eastward flight than a westward flight.
This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that the average free-running period of the circadian clock of humans is not exact 24 hours, but slightly longer than that. Hence, the biological clock of humans has a natural tendency to shift slightly later without much difficulty. However, for the same reason, humans find it more difficult to advance the circadian clock.
The results of this study have indicated that managers flying east should take the melatonin supplements in the late afternoon or evening to phase advance the circadian clock while those flying west should take the doses in the morning to phase delay the clock.
Managers are also advised to start taking the melatonin pills during the flight itself based on the destination time.
In case you have to travel across more than 6 time zones, the use of melatonin should be started two to five days before the travel date.
However, it must be noted that the response of every person to melatonin pills varies. The onset and the duration of the effect can also vary among different users. Hence, managers should avoid taking melatonin in the airport or at the business launch, especially when they are using the supplement for the first time. This can pose a risk of falling sleep and losing the flight.
The recommended dose of melatonin for jet lag is about 2 to 5 mg once a day. A research published in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics has shown that the administration of exogenous melatonin in a dose of about 3 mg in the evening hours of the destination can promote a phase shift and advance the circadian rhythm thereby promoting sleep.
Managers can also use the supplement in the early morning in the same dose to promote a phase delay.
Melatonin supplements are considered safe, and hence, available over-the-counter at several local pharmacies. You can also buy melatonin supplements from reliable website such as Amazon.
Melatonin is a hormone that supports the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. It should be noted that it is not a sedative to be taken just before the bedtime. Hence, it may not make you feel sleepy or drowsy instantly.
It is a sleep-inducing hormone, which can improve the quality and duration of sleep and also reduce the time of onset for falling asleep. It can make you sleepy or help you sleep well at night when taken at the right time to suit your body’s circadian rhythm and the planned bedtime.
The use of melatonin for jet lag is generally considered safe. The short-term use of melatonin supplements is not known to cause serious side effects. Also, unlike sedatives, melatonin supplements are safer in terms of the risk of addiction.
However, a research published in the Clinical Drug Investigation has shown that some patients may develop a few mild side effects like dizziness, nausea, headache, and sleepiness.
There is little evidence to prove the safety of these supplements for the fetus when used by the pregnant mothers.
Also, the results of one animal study published in the Sheng Li Xue Bao has shown that the use of melatonin during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on the baby’s birth weight, maternal weight, and baby mortality. Hence, business women who are pregnant are advised to refrain from using melatonin supplement.
A study published in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics has indicated that alcohol consumption can worsen the symptoms of jet lag and even hamper the efforts to reset the body’s circadian rhythm.
Additionally, the risk of side effects of melatonin supplements can increase due to the alcohol intake. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid alcohol consumption while using melatonin for jet lag.
Alcohol may also reduce the amount of melatonin produced naturally in the body thereby reducing the quality of sleep.
Managers can also try the strategies mentioned beneath to adjust their body’s circadian rhythm according to the new time zone:
Business people can align their circadian rhythm with the time zone they are traveling to through bright light exposure.
A research published in the Journal of Biological Rhythms has indicated that a three-day exposure to the bright sunlight in the morning can shift the circadian rhythm by about 2 hours.
Calculating the time to seek or avoid the light varies depending on the number of time zones you have to cross, the direction of travel, and your usual time to sleep.
To phase advance, you can avoid exposure to light for an hour before the daytime and seek bright light for 2 hours after getting up in the morning.
Executives can also include the foods that contains natural melatonin. A research study published in the Nutrients has shown that the following foods contain natural melatonin in higher amounts: Eggs, strawberries, nuts, fish, barley, wheat, oats, grapes, rice, cherries, bell pepper and mushrooms.