The Zoomer Report: Jet Lag and Fasting

U.S. researchers have come up with a new way for travellers to recover quickly from jet lag — don’t eat for 16 hours. They made the discovery while investigating the internal biological clock that governs our daily sleep-wake cycle.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found a second clock that is set by the availability of food. Their study, published in the journal Science, is based on research on mice. But they believe humans have an internal food clock, too.

They say this second clock probably takes over when food is scarce. It may have evolved to make sure mammals don’t go to sleep when they should be foraging for food to stay alive.

They believe a fasting period of 16 hours will engage this new clock and once you eat again, your internal clock will be reset as though it is the start of a new day.

More research is needed but travelers can probably activate the second clock like this: On an overnight trip to Europe, fast before the flight and don’t eat on the plane. After you arrive the next morning, eat a nutritious meal.

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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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