by Devesh Agarwal
Jet lag is the curse of the international traveller. Much of human physiology and body patterns are adapted to an internal 24 hour clock called the Circadian Clock or Circadian Rhythm. Virtually all aspects of our life, especially sleep, alertness, cognition, body temperature, behaviour, digestion, strength, even our thinking and memory is tied in to this clock.
Courtesy Delta Airlines, a video on the “Science of jet lag” by Professor Russell Foster, Chair of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Oxford University, at a TED luncheon. In my humble opinion the video is very revealing on why we suffer jet lag and more importantly how to make our bodies adapt better and faster to changes in time zones.
The professor advises us travellers the following simple rules. If you travel west, seek out morning light to delay your body clock. If you travel east, it is far more difficult, but AVOID morning light and seek out light in the afternoon and in the evening (by artificial means if needed) to advance your body clock.