Research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience claims to have found a switch in the brain which will be able to reset the human body clock too.
By flicking the switch with beams of optical lasers, the U.S. team has worked out how to influence the way people react to long-haul travel or working irregular hours.
Read the Daily Mail article.
In humans and other mammals, the body clock is regulated by the bodily senses—the way the eye perceives light and dark, and the means the skin uses to assess temperature changes.
This mechanism rules our daily rhythms—sleep and waking patterns and metabolism. It also shapes us into a morning person or an evening person.
But the pressures of modern living, particularly shift work etc, mean we are battling our clocks and risking long term health problems from metabolic disease. Separate studies have found that people who work night shifts or who get too little sleep are more susceptible to conditions including depression, cancer and obesity.
After leaving Australia for England in the late 80s, I did a lot of traveling in the 90s, but I didn't suffer from what is referred to as jetlag. I slotted right into the anticipated arrival time at my destination and slept accordingly. The most recent advice is to wear sunglasses a few hours before and after arrival, which would alter the way your eye sees light.
The trouble with living far from home is that I'm separated from my remaining family. The only person to hold me in place is my darling husband.
I remember the last time I saw my father. I visited Australia early at the turn of the century to visit my family for what I knew would be the last time. My aging mother and father in particular, as well as my daughter, ill from the after-effects of treatment for leukemia. I'm so glad I basked in their love before they left the Earthly plane.
On my first stop, my dear father took me to the sea close to where he lived on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria and I waded in the cold ocean. I'm sure this helped me settle into the time, which is typically 12 hours apart from England.
When I look back on those times, I wonder if my guardian angel guided me through every trial to achieve the peace and stillness in myself I'd yearned for after my first divorce.
But, my days of traveling are over. How do you handle jetlag?