17 April 2009


Scientists believe that they are a step closer to finding a cure for jetlag after discovering what it is that causes the body’s internal clock to become confused.

They have found that moving between different time zones disrupts the two main sleep patterns in different ways. It appears that the neurons (brain cells) that govern deep sleep can reset themselves in a matter of a couple of days, but that the neurons that govern the period of sleep known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) can take up to a week to adjust.

Jetlag is therefore caused by one set of neurons telling your body you are in one time zone while another set are telling it you are in another; the greater that difference, the greater the problem.
Since the issue is resolved when the neurons come back into synch, biologists believe it will be possible to create a drug that effectively resets your body clock.

If you’re up for a somewhat scientific read, you can click here view the full research paper on the “Current Biology” web site.

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