After my last intercontinental flight (8 hours difference between arrival and departure airport) I used melatonin to cope with jet lag and it worked pretty fine. I was able to have some decent sleep, without being awake overnight.

For my next trip on the same route, I am wondering if taking melatonin during the flight would be advisable or are there any reason why I should avoid it.

I am flying as passenger, not as crew member, and the departure time is in the early afternoon (evening at destination). So I was thinking that taking melatonin shortly after departure would set me on the "right" time zone one day earlier.

  • 1
    If you're flying to or through UAE it's a bad idea. Otherwise, I always take it with me. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 6:51
  • 5
    Possible duplicate of Does melatonin work as a jet lag remedy? Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 7:24
  • I don't think it's a duplicate, because this question is not about if it's actually working. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 7:44
  • @DaanvanHoek "reasons for not taking.." is automatically implied in "does it actually work". IMO Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 8:04
  • 2
    @NeanDerThal IMO, it's not. Medication not working can be one reason not to take it. Other reasons may be side effects (like headaches), interference with other medication, legal issues as pointed out by la femme cosmique, ...
    – Sabine
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 11:36

2 Answers 2


Taking melatonin during your long haul flight is fine. However, be careful of the following two points:

  1. Take melatonin after takeoff. I had to deal with way to many people that were falling asleep while the plane was disembarked due to technical reasons or similar.

  2. Check if the contry you're travelling to prohibits the use of your medication. If so, you could face some serious fines or even jail time for "smuggling" drugs. If this is the case and you are flying to e.g. the UAE, take only one pill with you and be sure to use it before you reach the UAE.


I see absolutely no reasons why you shouldn’t. It’s not like it’s strong medication that will knock you out, but people even take those kinds on board an airplane. At best this will make it a bit easier to fall asleep under the right conditions.

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