Armodafinil for jetlag – is it effective?
If you are an airplane pilot, cabin crew, or travel a lot by plain going on business trips, most likely you are familiar with jetlag. It is an inevitable condition that occurs if you travel crossing a number of times zones in just one day.
Jetlag is a problem that occurred in the 20th century as previously it was impossible to travel across several time zones in a day. You shouldn’t’ worry about getting jetlagged if you travel by train or ship as your body will have time to adjust its internal clock while you get to your destination point.
What is jetlag and how is it manifested?
Jetlag is a disorder occurring in the function of the circadian rhythm, the system that regulates our sleep-wake cycles. It is also called “internal clock” or “biological clock”. The system regulates multiple body functions and processes, for instance, certain hormone levels in the blood (e.g. melatonin release increases after a sunset), body temperature, central nervous system work, and so on. Our internal clock usually works in accordance with the time zone where we live. So if you travel to another time zone especially that differs a lot, for instance, an 8-hour time difference, your internal clock needs time to adjust. And while it is adjusting, you are having jetlag that could be manifested in:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness;
- Drop of cognitive functions (memory, speed of thought, attention, etc.);
- Central nervous system disorders manifested in dizziness, muscle weakness, and pain, etc.
- Digestive disorders, for instance, constipation or diarrhea, and others.
How to cure jetlag?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for jetlag as it can be cured only when your body naturally accommodates to the new time. However, you can ease the symptoms following certain routines plus taking a pill of Artvigil.
- Several days or a week before a flight start slightly adjusting your sleep routine. Keep in mind, the direction you are going to is very important: if you are heading east, start going to bed an hour before the usual time and go to bed also before your regular bedtime. If you are traveling to the west, go to bed a bit later than usual and get up also later.
- Adjust your biological clock with light. If you are going to the east, make sure you have exposure to natural light in the early morning. To shift your internal clock forward if you are heading west, limit the time you spend in the natural light on the day of the flight and during it, for instance, wear sunglasses.
- When you arrive at your destination, do not go to sleep during the day. Instead, it would be better to go outside and get exposed to the sunlight. This will help your internal clock adjust and also you won’t suffer from insomnia at night. If you feel that sleepiness is unbearable, there are two options – either take a pill of Armodafinil (Artvigil) if you have important meetings upon arrival, if no urgent meetings are set, go to sleep for no more than two hours (set an alarm and get up when it goes off).
- Do a few morning exercises. To combat sleepiness during the first couple of mornings, make sure you do at least a bit of physical exercise. It will help you wake up and subsequently improve your mood for the day. Do not exercise before going to bed or you can develop insomnia.
- Eat light food. Indigestion is one of the common symptoms of jetlag. To avoid it, try eating clean and choose light foods (i.e. no heavy meals, red meat, sweets, fries, etc.) before going to bed or your sleep won’t be as resting as it should be.
How can Artvigil help with jetlag?
You should know that even though Armodafinil is an amazing medication it is not a cure for jetlag. This medication was developed as an alternative for amphetamines in the management of sleepiness in narcolepsy. It is also used for the conditions in which sleepiness occurs as a result of poor night sleep or irregular sleep schedule, i.e. in obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. Although these are the official uses, Armodafinil is widely used off-label, i.e. for the uses not officially approved but when the benefits of its use can be seen clearly, for instance, in jetlag, attention hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue, depression, and others. Besides, it is a drug that is used officially by the army, police, airplane pilots, and air traffic officers. It substantially improves wakefulness, alertness, ability to focus, and react fast in conditions when needed without causing addiction or side effects.
To cope with jetlag, you can take half of Armodafinil pill or a whole pill if sleepiness is severe. Keep in mind that the drug should be taken only in the morning or before noon or you can have trouble falling asleep at night and night rest is crucial for coping with jetlag as it helps the body adapt to the new time zone.
If you think that it is easier to use caffeine to cope with sleepiness and inability to think fast due to jetlag, see the comparison of contraindications for use and side effects of caffeine and Armodafinil.
- Intolerance or allergy to Armodafinil;
- Pregnancy and lactation;
- Uncontrollable hypertension;
- Liver cirrhosis;
- Severe heart disease.
- Allergy or intolerance of caffeine and other xanthines;
- Pregnancy and lactation;
- Uncontrollable hypertension;
- Cardiovascular diseases;
- Age over 60 years.
Armodafinil rarely cause adverse effects. Although during the first days of use insomnia and anxiety can develop if the dosage is too high for an individual or a pill is taken in the second half of a day.
Other possible adverse effects are:
If allergy develops, the use of the drug must be discontinued.
The possible adverse effects of caffeine are:
- Increased anxiety;
- Chest pain;
- High blood pressure.
- Stomach upset;
- Kidney dysfunction;
In sharp withdrawal, ricochet increased fatigue, headache, and cognitive functions worsening can occur.