You Can Beat Jet Lag With The Touch Of A Button

PBS_Braincraft Published February 22, 2018 1,432 Plays

Rumble - We are sure you all have experienced jet lag before. Studies have shown that people experiencing jet lag have trouble learning and recalling memories. A study suggests that jet lag is simply a math problem and you can solve it by controlling your exposure to light or darkness. Jet lag is a question that comes out of biological rhythms.

You have probably heard of circadian rhythms before - the roughly 24-hour biological rhythms that influence when you sleep or wake up. The lady in the video, Olivia, developed a schedule of exposure to light and darkness that allows your circadian rhythms to adjust to new time zones as quickly as possible. She figured this out by thinking of us as robots and it is connected to your body temperature. Your alertness and body temperature parallel each other. When your body temperature is rising you become more alert and when it is falling, you are getting closer to the bottom and you become less alert.

When you travel to a new time zone, you can speed up the process of entrainment - a scientific term for fully adjusting to a new time zone by timing your exposure to light. In your eyes, cells sense a light and send that information to your brain’s internal clock. To adjust the clock you have, you need to experience one block of the brightest light and one block of the dimmest darkness each day. What you really have to worry about is dawn and dusk. Now, you don’t have to do the math since there is an application for that called “Entrain” available on AppStore and you can use it to see your light and dark schedules. The app was developed in collaboration with Danny Forger from University of Michigan and Kirill Serkh from Yale.

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