Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast

Scientists in the United States have discovered how to stop your body clock going to pieces after a long-haul flight, without having to resort to pills and hours and hours in bed.

Researchers at Stamford University exposed people to short flashes of light when sleeping before a long trip. The light tricked the subjects’ bodies into resetting the circadian system, which controls sleep timing, as well as moods.

Jet lag is caused when sleeping patterns fail to match our circadian rhythms. Light therapy is not completely new and has long been considered one of the best ways to reset circadian rhythms.

The new study, published on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, involved putting 39 subjects on the same sleeping and waking cycle for two weeks. The volunteers then slept in a lab, where some were exposed to an hour of light and others faced a series of flashes.

Those exposed to short flashes every 10 seconds changed their circadian rhythms by two hours. The continuous light caused just 36 minutes of change.