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Jet lag is not a myth. As anyone who has traveled from coast to coast knows, a sudden three hour time shift will give you a couple days of sluggish feeling. Thailand will give you a sudden twelve hour time shift. Some people spend their entire Thailand vacation recovering, only to have another week of recovery after they get home.

Thankfully, for a lot of people, there is a cure for Jet lag. It's called Melatonin. This hormone is endorsed by Johns Hopkins in Baltimore Maryland. Feel free to call the Johns Hopkins Travel Clinic at 410-955-8931 for information on ANY travel related medical problems. They will fax you information on Melatonin and its use.

Melatonin is a natural hormone the human body produces. For about $7 at any health food store you get a bottle of 60 or so sublingual tablets. Sublingual is doctor speak for "put under your tongue." Use of this hormone will basically reset your natural biological clock.

Now I'm no doctor, I don't even play one on tv, so I'll let the Travel Clinic, your local doctor, or Health Food Store tell you specifics, but basically it works like this:

The day before the trip, when you look at your watch and see that if you were in Bangkok right now, it would be bedtime, (12:00 noon or so in U.S.) it's time to put a tablet under your tongue to dissolve.

The next day while traveling, the same thing - when it's bedtime where you're going, one pill goes under the tongue. If you feel the need you can continue for a day or two at your destination as well, taking the pill at bedtime. I've never felt the need for this extra step. A majority of people (not all) who use Melatonin feel little or no jet lag effects. If it fails to work for you, you've only lost $7.

Amazing stuff.

Side Effects:
If you're a sickly person to start with, I'd talk to a doctor before taking Melatonin. Pregnant women are out of the game as well.

The biggest reported side effect is nightmares. As side effects go, this shouldn't frighten you too much. (Sorry I couldn't resist) I have never had night-mares using Melatonin, but dizziness is the second side effect which I do get with the stuff. But a few minutes feeling dizzy after taking a pill is NOTHING compared with four to five days with your head in a jet lag fog.

If you don't want to take tablets, then at least follow this advice. Don't watch the eight or so movies that are shown during your flights. When the lights go down, SLEEP! By taking this trip around the world, you are about to put your body into a jet lag tailspin. Sleeping will give your body a fighting chance to better deal with it when you land on the other side of the planet.

Some folks think that staying awake will make them more sleepy and ready to sleep when they arrive in Thailand. Don't kid yourself - you WILL be tired after a 28 hour flight! Sleep depravation will only serve to ruin your trip.